How Can A Divorce Impact My Social Security Benefits?

divorce paper

If you’re currently in the midst of a divorce, you know how tricky the financial side of the process can be. There are long-term aspects to consider too, like how you and your spouse will split retirement plan funds or social security benefits. Are you a divorcee looking to find out how your social security benefits will be impacted by your divorce? Read more or contact one of our Bergen County Divorce Attorneys today for more information.


This depends on many different factors. If you and your spouse were married for at least years, you haven’t remarried, and you’re at least 52 years old, there is a likely chance you are eligible to receive at least a portion of your ex-spouse’s social security benefits. If you meet the previous requirements but your ex-spouse hasn’t claimed their own benefits yet, then you’ll need to wait two years before you can receive a portion of their benefits. Furthermore, if you remarried after your divorce, you presumably will not be able to receive any of your ex-spouse’s benefits since you now would be receiving your new spouse’s benefits instead. Only people with a disability can claim their benefits as early as 52; everyone else usually needs to wait until they’re 60 or 62. If your ex-spouse passes away and you were married for at least ten years, you are likely eligible for survivor’s benefits as well.


If you successfully claim your ex-spouse’s social security benefits, your ex-spouse’s promised benefits will not be impacted in the slightest. Actually, your ex-spouse won’t even know that you claimed their benefits unless you decide to tell them. One spouse claiming benefits does not affect the other spouse’s benefits. It’s also important to note that claiming both your and your ex-spouse’s benefits does not grant you double the benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will look to see who is set to earn more benefits. If it’s you, then you probably won’t get any of your ex-spouse’s benefits. If it’s your ex-spouse, then you’ll receive your own benefits first and then the SSA will pay you the difference for what you would have gotten with your ex-spouse’s benefits. Either way, both parties get exactly the benefits they’re entitled to.

If you’re just beginning the divorce process, you probably want to speak to a trusted divorce lawyer to discuss your options. You’re in luck because Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, LLC is here to help! Contact us today for quality legal counseling.

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