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The Effect A Divorce Has On Social Security Benefits

One of the biggest worries for individuals who are going through a divorce is how it will affect any Social Security benefits they would be entitled to from their spouse. Many people depend on this money as they get older, but those plans can be threatened if their marriage comes to an unexpected end later in life. While the immediate financial repercussions of a divorce can be daunting, it’s the lost Social Security money that could have the biggest impact on your future.

Thankfully, the system has measures in place to protect people in this situation, allowing them to collect their spouse’s Social Security benefits if they meet the following criteria:

  • Your marriage lasted 10 years or longer.
  • You are currently unmarried.
  • You are age 62 or older.
  • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits, and any entitlements you are eligible for amount to less than theirs.

Even if your ex-spouse remarries, you will still be able to collect on their benefits. Also, if you have been divorced for more than two years, you can collect on your ex-spouse’s behalf if they are able to begin collecting their Social Security money but haven’t done so yet. However, you will not be able to collect any benefits if you remarry, unless this new marriage ends through death, divorce or annulment.  

To further understand whether will be eligible to receive your ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits, contact the divorce lawyers at Sager Gellerman Eisner Attorneys at Law for guidance. We serve clients in Queens or Nassau County, New York.

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