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Impact of divorce on Social Security benefits

Financial concerns are among the most important issues to understand and prepare for when Oregon couples are ending their marriages. According to the Social Security Administration, as much as 96% of workers in America are covered by Social Security. People who have been married may be entitled to retirement benefits, even if they themselves have never worked or have little in terms of earnings during the course of the marriage. If one of the spouses qualifies for benefits, the other may be able to claim up to half.

If the marriage lasted for a period of at least 10 years, a person can collect benefits based on his or her ex-spouse’s Social Security record. In order to claim benefits, the person must be at least 62 years old and unmarried. Additionally, the person’s Social Security benefit must be less than that of his or her former spouse.

Generally speaking, if a person remarries, he or she will not be able to collect benefits based on an ex-spouse’s Social Security record. In the event that the second marriage ends, due to annulment, divorce, or death, the person may then be eligible again to collect benefits based on that spouse’s record. People who have been married more than once with each marriage lasting 10 years or more can collect Social Security based on whichever ex-spouse’s record provides the greatest benefit.

For people who are facing the end of a marriage, an attorney might be able to help by examining the situation and identifying separate or marital assets. In cases where Social Security is an issue, an attorney with experience practicing family law might be able to provide guidance regarding how to get the most benefit from the system.