How Can Social Security Benefits Impact My New Jersey Divorce?

When spouses divorce, they are very often concerned over whether they will lose out on, or benefit from, retirement assets. These assets are subject to equitable distribution. In New Jersey, older couples who have been married for over 10 years may receive a portion of their former partners’ Social Security, pension, and military retirement benefits, provided they hire experienced legal counsel. Please read on and reach out to our experienced Bergen County divorce attorneys to learn more about retirement assets and how we can help you through the litigation process. Here are some of the questions you may have:

How do I know if I am eligible to receive Social Security benefits after a divorce?

In the event of a divorce, divorced spouses may still collect Social Security benefits based on their former spouse’s work record, if they are: 

  • Unmarried
  • 62 years or older
  • Entitled to Social Security benefits
  • Not receiving a higher social security benefit based on their work history.

Can an early retirement affect my eligibility for Social Security benefits?

If one spouse retired before the age of 65, a New Jersey court will consider the reasoning for the individual’s retirement, as well as the retiring spouse’s motivation, to balance the interests of the retired person against the interests of the spouse requiring financial support. Additionally, oftentimes, if a spouse retires early due to serious health concerns, extreme physical demands of their former job, or due to a large financial incentive, they may be required to make alimony payments alimony at the pre-retirement level.

Am I still eligible for Social Security benefits if we were married for slightly less than 10 years?

In most cases, you are still eligible, as long as:

  • You actively care for your ex-spouse’s children
  • The children are disabled or under 16 years of age
  • The children can receive child support benefits based on your former spouse’s work record
  • The benefits you receive are payment in exchange for caring for the children
  • The benefits you receive will end once the youngest child turns 16

Contact our experienced Bergen County firm

If you are a financially dependent spouse, it is no secret why receiving part of your spouse’s retirement benefits is so important. Fortunately, our firm is here to help. All you have to do is ask.

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to understand and protect their legal rights before, during, and after the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee.

To speak with our team of divorce lawyers today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce-related concerns, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.

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