After a divorce, many spouses, especially older spouses, will often wonder about how their divorce may affect their Social Security benefits. Please continue reading and speak with our knowledgeable Los Angeles divorce attorneys to learn more the five most important things you should know about Social Security & divorce.
Your Divorce Decree Will (Most Likely) Not Ban You From Receiving Social Security Benefits
In most cases, if your marriage lasted at least 10 years, you will be legally allowed to receive your former spouse’s Social Security benefits. That being said, in certain rare cases, certain divorce decrees may prohibit one spouse from receiving the other spouse’s benefits. Again, however, this is extremely rare.
You Will Not Reduce Your Former Spouse’s Checks by Claiming SS Benefits
Many former spouses believe that if they claim their former spouse’s Social Security benefits, that it would have a negative effect on their former spouse’s benefits. This is untrue, which is all the more reason why you should consider claiming your former spouse’s Social Security benefits–he or she will not be penalized.
You Can Claim Your Former Spouse’s Benefits as Soon as You Are of Age
Once you and your former spouse are 62 years old, you can claim his or her Social Security benefits, even if your former spouse has not claimed those benefits yet him or herself. That being said, to claim these benefits, your former spouse must also have at least 40 work credits (or 10 years of full-time work).
You Do Not Need to Ask Your Ex to Sign Off
If you are looking to obtain your former spouse’s Social Security benefits after a divorce, all you have to do is provide Social Security with your former spouse’s Social Security number (or with information regarding your former spouse and his/her parent’s names, their date of birth, and their place of birth), and you should receive the SS benefits to which you are entitled. You do not need your former spouse’s permission.
You Will Receive the Higher Benefit
If your former spouse has more significant Social Security benefits, you will receive his or her benefits. If you have the higher benefits, you will receive your SS benefits. You do not have to choose between the two. If you have any further questions about social security and divorce, please do not hesitate to give our knowledgeable California divorce attorneys a call.
Contact our experienced Los Angeles firm
Divorce and family law issues are notoriously complicated and personal, which is why you must hire an attorney with years of experience, as well as the compassion and skill needed to handle these sensitive matters. For the qualified, dedicated legal representation you and your family deserve and need, contact Zitser Family Law Group, APC today.