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Social Security Benefits & Divorce

Posted By Cairns Law Offices || 8-Jun-2015

What does the number 10 have to do with Social Security benefits and divorce? If you were married for 10 years and you obtained a divorce, and your divorced spouse was a worker who passed away, you would be entitled to their Social Security benefits.

If you have been married for almost 10 years, and you're planning on filing for divorce, you may want to wait it out until the ten-year mark. This way, you can have access to your spouse's Social Security benefits if he or she passes away before you do.

As long as your marriage lasted 10 years or more, you may be entitled to benefits as a surviving divorced spouse. If you are a divorced spouse who meets the age or disability requirement as a widow or widower, it won't affect the benefit rates for other survivors who are entitled to benefits on your ex's record.

Will I be entitled to benefits if I remarry?

If you remarry after you turn 60 (50 if you are disabled), the new marriage should not affect your ability to receive survivor benefits. In other words, as long as your first marriage lasted at least 10 years and you remarried after you turned 60, you should still be entitled to your ex's survivor benefits.

Are you taking care of a child who is under the age of 16, or who is disabled and getting benefits on the record of your former spouse? If so, you wouldn't have to meet the 10-year marriage requirement. In that case, your child would have to be your ex's biological or legally adopted child.

However, if you qualify because you are raising the decedent's child, your benefit will affect the amount of benefits that others are entitled to receive on the worker's record.

How much would the benefits be?

If you are entitled to benefits on your former spouse's record, the survivor benefit amount would be based on your ex's earnings. The more he or she paid into Social Security, the higher the benefits would be.

The amount you would get each month would be a percentage of the decedent's basic Social Security benefit, which depends on your age and the type of benefit that you would be entitled to.

Looking for a divorce lawyer in Pennsylvania? Contact Cairns Law Offices to schedule a free case evaluation with a caring and knowledgeable attorney!