Dealing with unexpected events is a part of life for adults in New Jersey. Sometimes, this event comes in the form of a divorce. If you’re like many older adults going through the gray divorce process, it’s understandable to have questions about your finances going forward.
The future of Social Security benefits for divorced couples
Couples going through divorce typically spend lots of time dividing finances and other valuable assets. Fortunately, the type of split that happens with Social Security benefits can be more beneficial than you might think.
If you are the spouse currently receiving Social Security benefits, understand that your benefits will not go down just because your former spouse files for benefits on your earnings. Also, the person claiming the Social Security benefits of a former spouse can qualify for no more than half of the benefit amount an ex-spouse receives. If your ex-spouse receives $1,600 per month in Social Security benefits, you couldn’t qualify for more than $800 per month in benefits.
Meeting eligibility requirements
By law, the Social Security Administration in your state (New Jersey) is in charge of approving or denying your Social Security benefits. You’ll need to meet the following benefits to continue receiving Social Security benefits:
- Your ex-spouse is 62 or older.
- Your former spouse isn’t currently married.
- Your previous marriage lasted 10 years or more.
- You qualify for disability or retirement per the SSA’s requirements.
When dividing assets during a divorce, it’s important to take Social Security benefits into consideration. Even if you, or your spouse, don’t plan to retire anytime soon, understanding this source of income is critical to the creation of an equitable settlement.