How will my divorce affect my social security eligibility?

On Behalf of | May 25, 2017 | Divorce

Finances and the ability to support oneself in the future are some of the top concerns people have when their marriage comes to an end. If you are going through a divorce in Mount Holly and are close to retirement age, you may be wondering about how your split will affect your ability to collect social security benefits. Here is what you need to know.

According to the Social Security Administration, a lot will depend on who was the bigger earner throughout their lifetime and will be eligible for the higher benefit amount. If your spouse was the major income earner and you have very little work history, you will be eligible to collect benefits based on your ex’s income history if your marriage lasted for a minimum of 10 years. Upon reaching full retirement age, you can collect one-half of what your ex’s full amount would be.

This is true even if your spouse has remarried or has not yet begun to collect his or her own benefits. You are not eligible to collect on your spouse’s benefits if you have remarried. However, if that marriage has also ended through divorce or death, you can still collect.

In the event that you worked and your available benefits are higher than what you could collect through your spouse, that may be a better option. If your spouse is the one collecting benefits based on your income, your ability to receive your full amount when you are ready to file will not be affected. This is not intended to be legal advice and is provided as general information on this topic.