Social Security benefits and divorce

When a couple divorces, there are many things that both parties have to take into consideration, and some of these things might affect one or both ex-spouses years after the divorce. One of these things is Social Security. Texas residents might be wondering if it is possible to receive Social Security benefits based upon the earning records of the former spouse. While the answer is yes, there are some conditions that must be met.

The condition is the length of the marriage. A couple must have been married for 10 consecutive years before the divorce. Even being short a week of those 10 years can mean the difference between receiving benefits or not. If social security benefits are a concern, particularly for the spouse that either did not work during the marriage or earned significantly less, timing is a major concern. Understanding how the rules work might help a person potentially receive thousands of dollars in additional divorced spouse benefits.

Divorced spouses might also collect surviving divorced spouse benefits when their ex-spouse dies, as long as the original marriage lasted 10 years. A current case being discussed is that of a couple who divorced after nine years, 11 months and three weeks of marriage. The ex-wife was denied divorced spouse benefits while the ex-husband was still alive, and she was again denied surviving divorced spouse benefits after he died. In the case of this benefit, the couple only needed to have been married 9 months or more to receive benefits, but they had to have been married at the time of the death.

Understanding these rules is very important when making decisions that might impact life for a very long time. While retirement is often not on the minds of those who are facing the end of a marriage, a family law attorney can explain how the timing of a divorce can have some lasting effects.