Lindabury Legal Corner

How Divorce Can Impact Your Current and Future Social Security Benefits

2c2878387d7d1615f481_McGlew_James_06_pp.jpg
2c2878387d7d1615f481_McGlew_James_06_pp.jpg

One of the questions often asked by divorced individuals, particularly at the time of their retirement or the retirement of their former spouse, is whether or not they are entitled to receive Social Security benefits based on their prior marriage. The Social Security Administration interprets the law with the philosophy that a divorced person may deserve a personal benefit themselves if they were a long-term spouse of a member of the country’s workforce.

Generally, there are two sets of rules which the Social Security Administration applies to determine whether or not an individual will qualify. The first applies if your former spouse is living; the second applies if they are deceased.

The interpretation of these rules can sometimes be complicated and is often necessary to have an experienced family law attorney review not only the rules applied by Social Security but the settlement agreement signed at the time of the divorce. In the first scenario, where the former spouse is still living, the preliminary criteria which need to be met are: (1) your prior marriage lasted for 10 years or more; (2) you are not currently married; and (3) you are 62 years of age or older.

Sign Up for E-News

Just as important is whether you are entitled to receive Social Security benefits based on your own prior work history. If you are, the amount which you are entitled to receive for your efforts must be less than what you are entitled to receive based on your prior marriage. No individual is entitled to collect both benefits.

A second set of rules apply if an individual’s former spouse has already died. Under these circumstances, you would have to be 60 years of age or older, have to have been married to your former spouse for more than 10 years, and cannot be entitled to a retirement benefit which would be higher than what could be claimed based upon your former spouses work record.

Finally if you have remarried before the age of 60, you may not be able to receive this benefit. If you remarry after the age of 60, you would probably be entitled to receive it. It is also important to note that ex-wives and ex-husbands are treated the same under the Social Security statutes, that it does not matter if your former spouse is now remarried and that any benefit you are entitled to receive as the divorced spouse will have no effect on the amount of the benefit your former spouse is entitled to receive based upon his or her work history.

Lastly, bear in mind that if you should elect to receive your benefits before your full Social Security retirement age (which you can determine at www.ssa.gov) you will permanently reduce the amount you are entitled to receive. There are other rules that may apply to divorced individuals. If you subsequently remarry, you generally are prohibited from receiving benefits based on your former spouse's work history unless your later marriage ends (whether by death, divorce or annulment). If your former spouse has not applied for retirement benefits, but has met the qualifications to receive them, you can receive benefits on his or her record if you have been divorced for at least two years. Differing rules apply for those who have been married multiple times.

There are other qualifying factors and determinations which need to be considered to confirm what benefit a former spouse is eligible to receive. It is always best to contact an experienced family law attorney who can discuss your qualifications to receive such benefits. Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper provides legal representation to people in communities across Union, Somerset, Monmouth, Middlesex, Morris, and Bergen Counties, among other areas. Call today to schedule a consultation with James McGlew at 908-233-6800.

 

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper is a mid-sized general practice law firm providing quality legal services to businesses and individuals throughout New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic region. Our attorneys provide vigorous and cost-effective counsel to help clients meet their personal and professional objectives. Learn more about all of the services Lindabury provides by visiting www.Lindabury.Law.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Former Chair of Union County Democratic Committee Jerry Green Dies at 79

April 19, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-22) has died at age 79, according to an email to TAPinto Plainfield from Councilwoman-at-Large Rebecca Williams. (Williams also shared the information on her Facebook page.)

On Jan. 24, Green  resigned as Chairman of the Union County Democratic Committee "to focus his energy on recovering from an illness." At the time, ...

2018 Municipal Budget is on Collision Course with Principles of Financial Soundness & Stability

April 18, 2018

Having chaired the town council’s finance committee in the recent past, I appreciate the hard work that goes into developing a municipal budget for a town as large and dynamic as Westfield. But as I have expressed publicly and also to the mayor and my council colleagues, I do not support the adoption of Westfield’s 2018 municipal budget. Although the budget contains much that I ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_256ae6910e9127d6507f_picture

Thu, April 19, 7:00 PM

Westfield High School Auditorium, Westfield

Panel on Transitioning to 100% Renewable Energy

Education Green

Carousel_image_dd2853d55f77b53a02e6_13244600_824512737683830_2011645362359518113_n

Thu, April 19, 8:00 PM

Molly Maguires Irish Pub and Restaurant, Clark

Open Mic Night @ Molly Maguires in Clark

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Thu, April 19, 8:00 PM

Union County Torah Center, Westfield

“The Jewish View on Reincarnation”

Religions And Spirituality

Westfield Police Blotter: Residence Burglarized & More

April 18, 2018

April 11, 2018 10:23 a.m.

Raymond Rodgers, 56, of Westfield, NJ was arrested in the area of E. Broad Street. Rodgers was arrested pursuant to an unrelated traffic investigation. Rogers was transported to Westfield Police HQ without incident. At WPD HQ, Rodgers was processed and released after posting the full bail amount ($250). Rodgers was arrested on the strength of an outstanding Westfield ...

Imagine Holds Annual Board Retreat

April 18, 2018

Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss held its annual board retreat on Saturday April 14th at its center in Mountainside.  "It was a valuable, thought-provoking, and educational day for all of us," said John Toriello, Chair of Governance.  "The board and staff worked together to establish the goals of the retreat and facilitate the agenda.  It was a great team ...

McKinley School Kicks Off its Annual Fundraising Effort for Pediatric Cancer Research

It was an enthusiastic start as students and staff kicked off the 7th Annual McKinley School Mini-THON, a schoolwide, energetic effort to raise money for leukemia and pediatric cancer research.

“As you know, McKinley School does a lot to give back [to the community],” said McKinley principal Marc Biunno as he addressed students and staff gathered in the gymnasium on April 11.

Get Your Home Ready for Summer Before its TOO HOT

Finally, the weather is getting warmer and you are shedding those down coats. Now is a great time to start thinking about summer and getting your home prepared. Paying attention to a few maintenance items can alleviate painful repairs later on if you wait too long. The line ahead of you will build as the summer rush starts. So, let’s not wait.

Check your roof   (hire the expert ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Fear of Rising Rates? Remember The Reason You Own Bonds

If the current interest environment has you concerned about your bond portfolio, remember why you are investing in bonds.  The role bonds, or fixed income, play in a portfolio is not solely based on performance.  Bonds are used to offer stability, particularly when stock market volatility is rising. Rate hikes can dampen bond performance, but keep perspective on how rising rates impact ...

Hellenic Therapy Center

April 13, 2018

Dropping Off Our Kids At College – Learning How To Adjust

Hellenic Therapy Center

 

Whether your kid is a freshman entering college for the first time or returning back to college, there are so many emotions we experience as parents.  There are differences in a parent’s reaction to the departure of a first child, an only child or even the last child.  Feelings ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 14

On this week’s AtlantiCast, an internationally recognized orthopedic oncologist takes a leadership role at Atlantic Health System, see the newest weapon in the fight against HPV-related cancers, Atlantic Health System leads the Castle Connolly / Inside Jersey Rankings, and much more!

 

Obituaries

Oct 21, 1944 - Apr 14, 2018
Kathleen A. Hertell passed away peacefully with family at her bedside on April 14, 2018. Loving ...
Read more

Edison Cop Arrested, Charged With Computer Theft and Stalking

April 18, 2018

EDISON, NJ - An Edison police officer has been arrested and charged with computer theft and stalking.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief Thomas Bryan of the Edison Police Department on Tuesday announced the arrest of Paul Pappas. The 43-year-old officer, an Edison resident, has been charged with computer theft/criminal activity in the second degree and stalking in the fourth ...