What Happens to Social Security Benefits in a Divorce?

Although any property a person jointly owns with their spouse can be considered marital property and subject to equitable division, Social Security benefits aren’t in this category. Although spouses can jointly benefit from each other’s Social Security income, this money isn’t taken into account for equitable division purposes.

Unlike other assets one or both spouses may have, Social Security benefits are a legal entitlement. They are not acquired in any kind of transaction but rather guaranteed by federal law. These facts underpin the reason why you don’t have to worry about losing your Social Security benefits in a divorce.

Social Security Post-Divorce

That said, spousal benefits should be considered post-divorce. If certain criteria are met, an ex-spouse can collect Social Security benefits based on your record.

Those criteria include the following:

  • Your marriage lasted 10 or more years
  • Your ex-spouse is unmarried
  • Your ex-spouse is 62 or older
  • Your ex-spouses benefits based on their own work are less than what they would receive based on your work
  • You are entitled to Social Security benefits

Importantly, if your ex-spouse intends to collect Social Security benefits based on your record, they can do so whether or not you remarry.

Need Help with Your Divorce?

Divorce can be difficult to handle, but help from Kay Polk, Attorney at Law can make the process easier. If you want to learn more about how our legal assistance can help you make sense of a potentially confusing time, reach out to our capable attorney for guidance.

Get in touch with Kay Polk, Attorney at Law by contacting us online today.