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Collecting Social Security After Divorce

January 31, 2018 /

Social security benefits can be confusing, especially if you're divorced and unsure of how much you're really entitled

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to. However, the rules for collecting after divorce are pretty straightforward. You qualify to collect on an ex-spouse's social security if: your marriage lasted at least 10 years, your ex-spouse is unmarried, your ex-spouse is age 62 or older (however, FULL retirement age is 66 for those born before 1955 and 67 if born beginning in 1955), the benefit you would receive on your ex-spouses benefits would be less than what you would receive on your own, and finally the last requirement is that you would receive social security benefits separate from your ex.

But let's say you've decided to retire but your ex-spouse wants to keep working, even after they've already begun to collect their benefits. If this is the case, benefits are not only limited to them, but to you also. Additionally, since the benefit amount is reduced if your ex collects before full retirement, your benefits from their collections are limited as well if you file before full retirement age.

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What about if you remarry? Can you still collect on your ex's money? If they're living, then the answer is no. If your ex-spouse is deceased and your remarriage occurred after you turned 60, then you would be entitled to a portion of their benefits. However, no matter what the circumstances are when you collect (retirement, unemployment, health status, etc.) you are entitled to a maximum of 50% of their benefits. 

An important note: if an ex-spouse collects on your benefits it will in no way decrease or negatively affect the amount you and your family will receive. 

There are lots of helpful tools that can help you determine how much you could be entitled to, and we've included the links for you below. 

Social Security Calculator: https://www.thebalance.com/social-security-calculators-2388936

Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) - used for calculating benefit amount they would recieve at full retirement age: https://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/piaformula.html

Contact us at the Mediation & Family Counseling Group at 1-888-281-2725 about how to help you sort out your finances after divorce.   

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Dana and Don

Divorce Mediatiors and Marriage Experts

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