Social Security Benefits and Your Divorce

If you have been married more than 10 years, you may still be able to collect on your ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits even if you have separated. Most retirees don’t understand how their Social Security benefits are calculated, but it is important to have an understanding of this system if you want to make the most of your benefits after your divorce.

If you were married to your ex-spouse for at least 10 years and have been divorced to at least two years, then you are eligible for a divorced spousal benefit. You have the ability to claim your own benefit or your ex-spouse’s benefit depending on which one is higher.

Some strategic retirees choose to claim both benefits. To do this, a retiree may begin their divorced spousal benefit at age 66 and then switch to their own benefit at age 70. This allows them to collect more on their own benefit and can cause a massive percentage growth in earnings.

This is known as restricted filing application because Social Security assumes that you are filing for the higher of the two benefits unless you say specifically that you are restricting your larger personal benefit. You aren’t able to restrict your filing if you start collecting benefits early. In that case, you need to take the highest benefit first and stick with it.

If you get remarried after your divorce, it will discontinue your access to your ex-spouse’s benefits. In one year, you can use your new spouse’s benefits if they are higher than yours. If you want more information about Social Security benefits, then you need to contact a skilled Los Angeles divorce attorney at Claery & Hammond today for more information. With the right lawyer on your side, you will be able to get the assistance that you need in your case.