Divorces are financial burdens. When a couple seeks a divorce, their marital assets will be reasonably divided. This division also includes social security benefits. In a divorce, spouses may request a portion of their ex’s social security benefits be granted to them. Depending on the circumstances of the termination of the marriage, former spouses may be able to obtain half of their ex’s social security benefits. Retirement plans are extremely important as they ensure individuals are financially comfortable after they’ve reached a certain age and no longer wish to work. Individuals’ hard-earned money is transferred into retirement plans to ensure their future is provided for. However, their social security benefits may be at risk in a divorce. If the dissolution of your marriage is imminent, contact a determined Rockland County Property Distribution Attorney who can help you protect your social security benefits. 

How does a divorce impact each spouse’s social security benefits?

In New York, divorcing couples can expect a fair and just division of marital assets as New York is an equitable distribution state. As mentioned above, depending on what is deemed fair, former spouses may be able to claim a portion of their ex’s social security benefits in a divorce.

To claim a former spouse’s social security benefits the marriage must meet certain requirements. Individuals may be entitled if the duration of the marriage spanned 10 years. Individuals must be 62 years or older to be eligible. Furthermore, individuals will not qualify if they are remarried. Lastly, to claim a portion of your former spouse’s social security benefits their benefits must be lower than your own. If you meet the requirements set forth you may be entitled to a portion of your ex’s social security benefits.

A common concern individuals have is whether or not their social security benefits will be reduced if it is determined their spouse is entitled to a portion. Luckily, individuals do not need to worry about this as they will still receive the full amount of their benefits. However, if a spouse is ordered to pay a certain amount in child support or alimony payments, the funds in their retirement may be deducted from their benefits. Additionally, if they have a high-earning value, their benefits could be reduced as they are in good financial standing. For the most part, individuals will not have their social security benefits decreased or reduced in a divorce. Individuals based on their work history are entitled to receive their full social security benefits despite a divorce.

If your former spouse is seeking a portion of your social security benefits, reach out to our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys. Our firm is committed to helping our clients protect their hard-earned assets in a divorce. We are ready to fight for you to achieve a favorable division of assets.