What to know about obtaining benefits after a divorce

| Oct 13, 2020 | Divorce, Family Law

The later in life that you get divorced, the less time that there is to recover from the financial fallout the end of a marriage may cause. In some cases, you may have to rely on Social Security benefits to make ends meet if you are no longer able to work on a part or full-tine basis. Let’s take a look at what Michigan residents should know about claiming these benefits after a divorce.

Entitlement to benefits based on your former spouse’s work record

If you were married to your former spouse for at least 10 years, you may be entitled to a benefit check that is based on his or her work record. You must be 62 or older at the time that you file a claim on your most recent spouse’s work record.

Furthermore, you must generally wait until your former spouse starts to collect his or her own benefits before you can do so. An exception may be made if you have been divorced from this individual for at least two years and he or she is eligible to receive benefits.

Reasons why your request may be denied

If you get remarried, you will not be able to collect a benefit check based on a previous spouse’s work record. Furthermore, if the benefit that you are entitled to based on your own employment history is more than half of what your most recent spouse is entitled to receive, you’ll be paid that amount instead.

You do not get to combine your own benefit with that of a previous husband or wife. However, it may be possible to receive a divorced spouse benefit between the ages of 66 and 70 and then apply for benefits based on your employment history.

A family law attorney may be able to help you learn more about what you may be entitled to after a divorce. In addition to the potential of receiving Social Security benefits based on a spouse’s work record, you may acquire other joint assets as part of a final settlement.

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