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Frequently Asked Questions

How does social security work with divorce?

The standard divorce rules for Social Security say that if an individual was married for at least ten years to their spouse and then divorced, he or she is eligible to collect spousal benefits on the earnings of the ex-spouse as long as the recipient is currently single.

How are Social Security benefits factor into a divorce?

The social security benefits for divorced spouse and current spouse are disbursed separately and do not reduce or affect each other. If you reached Full Retirement Age (FRA) and eligible for your own social security benefit and ex-spousal benefit from your divorce, you will receive the larger or the two.

Can Social Security benefits be divided on divorce?

As stated above, courts cannot divide social benefits in a divorce action (or any other type of action). However, once social security benefits are received, either by the original beneficiary or the derived beneficiary, they are income for that person.

How does divorce affect your Social Security benefits?

A legal separation does not affect a person's rights to any Social Security benefits he's earned, and only divorce will prevent him from drawing spouse benefits. For the Supplemental Security Income program, physical separation, and not legal separation, will affect the benefit amount.


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