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How Social Security spousal benefits work post-divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2024 | Divorce

Social Security payments can be immensely helpful for funding retirement, with spousal benefits typically reserved for currently married individuals. However, people in Texas who are divorced may still be able to receive spousal benefits. Here is a rundown of the eligibility requirements for these Social Security benefits.

Requirements for receiving spousal benefits

Spousal benefits are available following a divorce if the previous marriage lasted for a minimum of 10 years and the claimant is not currently married. However, it is possible to still qualify for spousal benefits if the ex-spouse has remarried. Individuals who divorced less than a couple of years ago have to wait until their ex-spouses begin receiving benefits before they can pursue spousal benefit payments.

The most a person may get in spousal benefits is half of the total amount their ex will get at the ex’s full retirement age, or FRA. In addition, the individual must reach their own FRA to claim spousal benefits. The FRA is calculated by birth year. For instance, anybody born in the 1960s or later has an FRA of 67.

An attorney can help

An individual planning to get divorced would be wise to consult an attorney as soon as possible. A family law attorney in Texas can help the individual make educated decisions regarding financial matters such as property division, including the division of retirement assets, and understand how Social Security spousal benefits will fit into his or her retirement plan. The attorney will strive to ensure the individual’s rights and best interests are protected long-term.