When separating from a spouse, there’s a lot to think about. In addition to dividing things like the house and figuring out custody of the kids, divorcing couples need to also consider how divorce can impact Social Security benefits. At the Law Office of Heather M. Ward, our experienced divorce attorney can help you to understand the impact of divorce on your Social Security and other retirement benefits.

Social Security Divorced Spouse Benefits

If you are worried that getting a divorce may negatively impact your ability to collect Social Security on your spouse’s record, know that there are Social Security divorced spouse benefits. In order to be eligible for Social Security benefits on your ex-spouse’s record, the following criteria must be satisfied:

  • You must be currently unmarried
  • You must be at least 62 years of age
  • Your ex-spouse must be receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits
  • You must have been married to your ex-spouse for at least 10 years before the divorce was finalized
  • You must not be entitled to an equal or higher amount of Social Security benefits on your own record

It’s important to know that as a divorced person entitled to Social Security benefits, your benefit amount will not be impacted by your ex-spouse receiving Social Security benefits on your record. 

Splitting Retirement in a Divorce

Dividing Social Security benefits during a divorce is something that is outside of your control; if you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse are eligible for Social Security benefits, this will not change based on getting a divorce, assuming that you have been married for at least 10 years. However, there are other elements of your retirement plan that could be impacted by a divorce. For example, savings in a 401(k) will likely be subject to equitable distribution in a divorce. Some couples may choose to split these savings 50/50, or may otherwise find a fair and equitable way to divide this asset. Keep in mind that all retirement savings and other assets that were acquired during the course of the marriage are considered marital assets and will be subject to equitable division during a divorce.

Protect Your Assets During a Divorce

When you are getting a divorce, protecting your assets and your retirement savings is important, and a key part of planning for your future. At the Law Office of Heather M. Ward, our experienced Massachusetts divorce attorney understands what’s on the line for you and can help you to create a strategy for your case designed to protect your best interests. To learn more about how a divorce can impact Social Security benefits and other elements of your retirement plan, reach out to Attorney Heather M. Ward today by phone or online. You can call directly today at (617) 903-8955.