Many retired individuals are unaware that their Social Security benefits can be impacted if they change their marital status. If you are a divorced retiree or plan to get divorced in the future, you should be aware of the following:
- Marriages lasting longer than 10 years are eligible for a divorced spousal benefit. A person can claim their own benefit or their spouses, whichever is higher.
- You can claim both benefits. Some divorcees use their Social Security benefits after their divorce. They then switch to their divorced spousal benefit at age 70. This is called a restricted filing application.
- If you file for early benefits, you’re required to take the higher amount of personal or spousal benefits. If you are working after retirement, your benefit could be adjusted to a lower amount because of earning limitations.
- Remarrying after your divorce can mean losing eligibility for benefits from your former spouse. After a year of marriage to your new spouse, you will become eligible again based on the new spouse’s record. However, you might not be eligible for benefits if your spouse does not report their income.
- You don’t need to wait for your ex-spouse to file for benefits. You are eligible for spousal benefits if you are at least 62 years old, have been divorced for at least 2 years, and can make what is called an independent filing decision.
Before deciding which benefit options to choose, speak with an attorney. An experienced lawyer can advise you through this process and inform you of limitations you might be unaware of. Our divorce attorneys at Goldblatt, Marquette & Rashba, PC have extensive experience handling Social Security benefit cases. Let us put our 25+ years of legal knowledge to work for you!
Contact our Hamden divorce lawyers today, or call (203) 687-4050 to find out what we can do for you.