November 29, 2017
Monthly Misconception for November- “You’ll Lose My Social Security If You Divorce Me”
“You’ll Lose My Social Security If You Divorce Me”
Maybe, but maybe not.
Are you divorced or considering divorce and concerned about the impact of the divorce on your retirement finances? If so, you may be surprised to know that divorce doesn’t necessarily terminate your right to collect social security benefits based upon the earning history of a former spouse.
A divorced person may collect social security benefits based upon either their own earning history or 50% of their former spouse’s earning history, whichever history results in a higher monthly benefit. But to be eligible to collect on a former spouse’s social security earning history, you must have been married for at least ten years and you cannot be remarried when you begin collecting.
This right to collect on a former spouse’s earning history isn’t something that has to be negotiated for or written into the divorce decree. Rather than the right being controlled by state law, such as a family court divorce degree, it is controlled by federal law.
And, by the way, if your former spouse collects on your social security earning history, this won’t decrease or impact the amount of social security benefits you or your subsequent spouse are entitled to receive.
Feel free to contact me via email, email@example.com, or telephone, 203-271-3888, if you’d like to explore this important divorce issue further.
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