When you go through a divorce, there are many things you must consider, from the division of property to custody arrangements. One area that is often overlooked, but should be addressed, is Social Security.
The divorce rate among Americans over 50 is one of the highest for any generation and has been dubbed “gray divorce.” If you are an older American who is concerned about your financial future after divorce, it is important to speak with a divorce attorney, like those at the Men’s Legal Center. Here are a few tips on maximizing your Social Security post-divorce:
- Get Educated – It is important to know how divorce law works in relation to Social Security. Ten years of marriage makes partners eligible to receive Social Security Benefits and even survivor benefits.
- Remarriage – However, if you got remarried and stayed remarried before age 60, your ex will not be able to claim benefits. If the remarriage occurs after age 60, your ex may be able to claim benefits. If you had more than one marriage that lasted 10 years or more but resulted in divorce, any eligible former spouse can seek benefits.
- Hold Out – The closer you can wait up to age 70 for Social Security, the more your monthly benefits will be. Plan ahead for retirement now so you can maximize benefits later.
- Restricted Benefits – In some cases, an ex-spouse may file for restricted benefits so that he or she can collect on their ex’s record first, then turn to their own at age 70.
- Survivor Benefits – It is important to note that ex-spouses who can benefit from their former spouse’s record are also eligible for survivor benefits if the ex-spouse dies.
When dealing with complex divorce issues like Social Security, it is important to have an attorney who understands the facts and your spouse’s eligibility for your benefits. You want to work with your attorney to use Social Security to your advantage, not your former spouse’s. Be sure to ask your attorney any questions you may have to ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities.
The team at Men’s Legal Center have extensive experience helping those who are going through the painful and stressful process of divorce. If you are concerned about your financial future post-divorce, let us help you create a plan and ensure your rights are protected at the negotiating table.