What is the relationship between Social Security and divorce?

High-asset divorces are complicated. When it comes to the division of assets such as retirement plans, stocks and life insurance, spouses in Kentucky might have many questions. Take the example of Social Security benefits. Spouses may wonder, how does Social Security relate to divorce and property division?

Many individuals may be surprised to learn that their ex-spouse could be granted part of that individual's Social Security benefits in the event of a divorce. There are a number of factors that will go into such a decision.

First, the couple must have been married for at least a decade. Because of this, couples may want to make sure they are married that long before divorcing. Second, the individual's ex-spouse must also meet the eligibility requirements for receiving Social Security benefits for either a disability or retirement.

There are also age requirements for a spouse to be granted Social Security benefits from their ex. The person pursuing Social Security benefits must be 62-years-old or older. In addition, the person pursuing Social Security benefits must not be married. Finally, the benefits the seeking spouse may claim from their employment must not be more than those received by their ex.

Spouses should keep in mind, however, that if they receive divorce benefits before their full age of retirement -- 66-years-old -- the benefits they receive will be reduced in some cases by 30 percent.

There are other strategies that may be employed as well. For example, in some cases spouses may obtain Social Security survivor benefits after their ex passes away. In addition, some spouses choose to start receiving their Social Security benefits through their ex after they reach the full age of retirement, and then return to their own Social Security benefits when they are 70-years-old.

Considering these facts, pursuing Social Security benefits after a divorce can be complicated. The above post is for general purposes only. Those with further questions may want to discuss the matter with a professional, so they understand how to go about the process in the right way.