How Does Divorce Affect Social Security Benefits?

How Does Divorce Affect Social Security Benefits?

Thousands of people receive Social Security benefits every month that they can use to take care of themselves and their families. But, what happens to these benefits during a divorce? Here’s how divorce can affect Social Security benefits:

When Ex-Spouses Can Receive Social Security Benefits

An ex-spouse can continue to receive Social Security benefits on your record as long as these conditions are met:

  • Your ex-spouse is unmarried.
  • Your ex-spouse is at least 62 years old.
  • If your ex-spouse applied for Social Security benefits based on their own work, they would receive less than they would receive based on your work.
  • Your marriage lasted for a minimum of 10 years.

Contrary to popular belief, an ex-spouse’s right to your Social Security benefits does not end when you remarry. Your ex-spouse can continue to receive Social Security benefits on your record even after you have remarried. However, if your ex-spouse remarries, he or she can no longer receive benefits on your record. Your ex-spouse will become re-eligible to apply for benefits on your record if the marriage ends, though. It doesn’t matter whether the marriage ends because of divorce or death, either. As long as it is over, your ex-spouse can begin collecting benefits on your record again.

Believe it or not, it’s possible for your ex-spouse to receive Social Security benefits on your record even if you have not applied for them yet. As long as you qualify for the benefits, your ex-spouse can receive them on your record if the divorce has been finalized for at least two years.

How Will Your Benefits Be Affected?

Many people panic about their soon-to-be ex-spouses taking their Social Security benefits, but there’s no reason to be alarmed. Social Security benefits are not awarded to one spouse in the same manner that marital assets are divided during a divorce. According to the Social Security Administration, the benefits that you receive will not be affected by the fact that your ex-spouse is receiving benefits on your record. This means you will still receive the same amount of money every month even though your ex-spouse is now receiving benefits as well.

Divorce may not impact your Social Security benefits, but it will affect your finances for other reasons. If you are filing for divorce, let the divorce attorneys at Adams Family Law fight to protect your finances and reach a fair settlement. To schedule a consultation, call 513-929-9333 or email

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