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Will divorce end your access to Social Security retirement benefits?

| Mar 30, 2021 | Divorce |

The longer your marriage has lasted, the harder it can be to imagine your life without your spouse. Even if you are unhappy together, you may feel financially dependent on them. If you stayed home to raise your children, you sacrificed a lot for the sake of your family. Your spouse is the one who has a pension and Social Security retirement benefits.

If you understand the basics of Texas divorces, you may already know that you can ask for a portion of any retirement account or pension that is part of your marital estate when you divorce. Can you also ask for part of your spouse’s Social Security retirement benefits?

Ex-spouses can request Social Security after divorce

Typically, you have to work for years and make substantial tax contributions to Social Security to qualify for retirement benefits. Even if you worked before you had children, you may not have made enough contributions to qualify for retirement benefits. If you did, the amount could be quite low.

Your spouse was able to work and retire with more retirement benefits because you stayed home to take care of the family. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes the work done by dependent spouses by allowing them to claim benefits based on what their spouse contributed.

Provided that your marriage lasted at least 10 years, you are at least 62 years-old and you have not remarried, you can claim up to 50% of your ex’s benefit without reducing what they receive. If you qualified for your own retirement benefits through the SSA, you can receive that and additional benefits if your ex’s benefit rate is higher than your own.

As you plan for your financial well-being after divorce, it’s important to understand what Social Security benefits you’re entitled to receive. Your attorney can help you.

Understanding the benefits you can receive and how the courts will approach property division in your Texas divorce can help you plan to move on after retirement.

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