Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC

How divorce affects Social Security retirement benefits

When a couple decides to end their marriage in Texas or elsewhere in the country, the split can have a significant impact on many areas of their lives. One area that can become quite complicated following a divorce is retirement funding. A financial adviser recently addressed the issue of Social Security retirement benefits and the impact of divorce on them.

Currently, the law states that a divorced woman who was married for at least 10 years is entitled to the same level of benefits to someone is still married. However, the woman would not receive these benefits in addition to those she may earn. The total would be offset by the amount to which she was entitled.

A note of interest is that the level of benefits does not change whether someone was married 10 years before the divorce or 50 years. The benefit amount is not prorated and does not change. About 40 years ago, someone had to be married 20 years before they could receive the Social Security benefits.

Another issue regarding retirement benefits is remarriage. While a married woman cannot receive benefits from her husband's record until after his retirement, a divorced woman can. As long as the ex-husband is of retirement age, the former wife can file for benefits from his record.

Understanding retirement funding, including Social Security benefits, can be daunting, especially when a divorce has occurred. To protect one's investments or to ensure that someone gets fair treatment in the division of property, it would be beneficial to contact a Texas divorce lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney can navigate clients through the entire process and work toward obtaining a favorable outcome in the proceedings.

Source: tucson.com, "Social Security and You: Benefits for divorced women", Tom Margenau, Nov. 1. 2017

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