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Can Divorce Affect Social Security Income?

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BLOG DM 5 Ways to teach your kids to be gratefulMany Americans who have retired rely on Social Security to provide for living expenses. When a retired couple decides to divorce, one or both parties might wonder if the divorce can affect Social Security. It absolutely can.

Income disparities between genders often mean that husbands are entitled to higher Social Security benefits than their wives. This is not always the case, as some women make significantly more money than their husbands, but in general, working women receive more benefits based on the work record of their ex-husband.

Requirements for Receiving Benefits

Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI), which is what many people refer to when they use the phrase “Social Security,” includes spousal benefits and actually allows ex-spouses to retain benefits from their former partner’s OASI. This can persist through divorce and even in the event of the ex’s death.

To meet the eligibility requirement for receiving benefits based on your ex’s work record, you must:

  • Have been married for at least 10 years
  • No longer be married
  • Be at least 62 years old
  • Have lower potential benefits from your own Social Security work record than your ex-spouse

Contact a Family Law Attorney in Fort Collins

If your ex has not applied for benefits, you can still receive benefits based on his or her work record if you meet the above requirements, your spouse is qualified for Social Security and you have been divorced for at least two years. If you are curious about your financial options following a divorce after retirement, consult with a family law attorney. Divorce after retirement is tricky but possible.