Picture of Social Security Cards

What Happens to Your Social Security When You Divorce?

When you and your spouse have come to a point in your marriage where you feel it would be better for all if you pursue a divorce, it brings up so many emotions and questions, especially financial concerns.

There are so many factors that need to be considered with the division of assets and debts. It can be overwhelming.

But with the collaborative divorce process, couples have access to a neutral financial advisor. This financial advisor will help couples take an honest and unbiased look at their current and future financial landscape and guide them in drafting an amicable agreement.

One financial concern is how each person’s social security benefit will be impacted. Here are a few things from the Social Security Administration that we like to share with couples who are pursuing a marital dissolution:

“If you are divorced, your ex-spouse can receive benefits (even if you have remarried) if:

  • Your marriage lasted 10 years or longer
  • Your ex-spouse is unmarried
  • Your ex-spouse is age 62 or older
  • The benefit that your ex-spouse is entitled to receive based on their own work is less than the benefit they would receive based on your work
  • You are entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits

The California Family Court has no jurisdiction to divide Social Security benefits—only the federal government can do that.  But such benefits may affect other issues in a divorce, such as spousal support.   And note that any benefits received by your ex-spouse as a result of your earnings will not come out of your Social Security benefits.

While it can be overwhelming, if you choose a no-court collaborative divorce process over a court-litigated model, you can have peace of mind that your financial division will be a detailed plan, and will be drafted for both of you with both interests considered, this is better than having a judge decide, who most likely knows very little about your family.

A Better DivorceTM is an interdisciplinary group of professionals who are committed to non-court, non-confrontational solutions for family law matters.

We will provide you with access to qualified professionals who can help you determine if the collaborative divorce process is right for you and your family. Contact us today!

Note: This information is general in nature and should not be construed as legal/financial/tax/or mental health advice. You should work with your attorney, financial, mental health or tax professional to determine what will work best for your situation.

Posted in Collaborative Divorce, Divorce, Social Security.