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Find Out How New Social Security Rules Affect Divorce

social security

Thanks to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, there are a few changes in how divorced spouses can put a claim on their former partner’s Social Security benefits. We’ll talk about the changes here.

How Does a Divorced Spouse Qualify For Their Ex-Partner’s Social Security Benefits?

As we wrote in a previous blog entry, the basic rules that will enable you or your ex to be eligible for a slice of their/your Social Security benefits include:

  • The marriage lasting at least 10 years
  • Both spouse being at least 62-years-old
  • The former partner whose account is being accessed must be single

Here’s Where The Changes Kick In

As the long-held rules state, you can file a restricted claim for spousal benefits – allowing you to collect half of your ex-spouse’s full retirement benefit amount while your own retirement benefit continues to develop or grow until you turn 70.

However, and this is where the changes from the BBA of 2015 kick in, you have to be 66 to be able to file for restricted claims and must have been born on or before January 1, 1954.

In other words, ex-spouses who meet the criteria above can each file a restricted claim seeking spousal benefits from the other’s earnings at age 66. That’s something married couples cannot do; just one spouse in a marriage has rights to claim spousal benefits.

What About Divorced Spouses Born On or After January 2, 1954?

In a word, they’re out of luck. Because of the new rules, those who were born on or after Jan. 2, 1954 will not have the option of choosing from which benefit to claim.

Known as the “deemed ruling,” they’ll be considered to be eligible for all available benefits when they eventually file for Social Security, and will be paid whichever amount is higher.

What About Survivor Benefits?

The deemed ruling, however, do not apply to survivor benefits. That means that if your divorced spouse died without claiming Social Security, you can put a claim on the survivor benefits and then switch to your own maximum retirement payments when you reach 70.

To Better Understand All Financial Aspects of Divorce, Call The Men’s Legal Center

Even when the divorce decree has been issued, there’s still lots to consider – especially financial issues.

To find out what you’re entitled to, get in touch with us here at The Men’s Legal Center. Our number is 619-535-6535 or you can reach us via email.