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Social Security benefits can complicate a divorce

Married couples in Michigan may know that a non-working spouse is entitled to Social Security benefits that their working spouse receives. This is true even if the non-working spouse never held a job. What many people may not be aware of is that even if a couple divorces, a divorced spouse may still be entitled to the Social Security benefits of the ex who worked. If they meet certain requirements, they’ll be able to collect those benefits.

If an ex-spouse is looking to see if they’re entitled to their former spouse’s Social Security benefits, they need to ensure the following: They can only claim the benefits if they were married for at least 10 years, and they won’t be eligible to receive monthly checks until their ex-spouse starts to receive them. This requirement can be waived if they’ve been divorced from their ex-spouse for at least two years and if the eligible spouse hasn’t filed yet. In addition, they have to be at least 62 years old to start claiming the benefits, and they cannot have remarried, but they’re still entitled to the benefits if the ex-spouse has remarried.

Claimants should be aware that they will not receive the full benefit amount until they reach full retirement age, also referred to as FRA. They should also be aware that they can receive up to half of their ex-spouse’s benefits.

Figuring out Social Security benefits can be tricky enough without adding divorce into the mix. There are many variables, and the many rules and regulations can change with even the slightest adjustment in status. People who are looking for help figuring out Social Security payments after a divorce may benefit from working with an family law attorney.