Protecting What Matters Most

Some Social Security benefits may be available after a divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2020 | Divorce

If a person in New York gets a divorce that involves a name change, it is important to notify the person’s employer and the Social Security Administration to ensure that earnings are reported correctly. One person might still be eligible to draw benefits on the ex-spouse’s Social Security record under certain circumstances.

If the marriage lasted at least 10 years, a person who is 62 or older and who has not remarried may be able to collect retirement benefits on the ex-spouse’s record. If the ex-spouse dies, a person may be able to get survivors benefits. It is not necessary for the marriage to have lasted 10 years if the surviving person is taking care of the deceased spouse’s child who is either disabled or younger than 16. Remarrying before the age of 60 can mean it is not possible to receive survivors benefits. If the person is disabled, the cutoff is 50. Remarrying after 60 does not affect survivors benefits.

Others’ benefits are unaffected if a former spouse gets benefits. Furthermore, the ex-spouse’s family will not be notified about the person drawing the benefits. It is important to understand the ins and outs of these benefits, and people may want to discuss it with an attorney at the time of the divorce.

Establishing financial security over the long term, whether through Social Security or retirement savings, can be important in a divorce. For people in a high-asset divorce, there may be complicated assets to divide, such as a valuable art collection or a business. This could mean a long process as the assets are valuated and the couple determines how they will divide them. If they are unable to reach an agreement, they may have to go to litigation where a judge will make the decision.


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