Divorced Social Security benefits

There are many things about getting or being divorced that are not always commonly known or understood by New Jersey spouses. Lack of thorough knowledge in these areas may even have negative consequences. One such consequence could be the loss of financial benefits.

An example is seen in Social Security. AARP explains that it may be possible for a divorced person to claim benefits based upon their former spouse's earnings. There are specific criteria that must be met. The marriage must have lasted a minimum of a decade and the claiming spouse must be at least 62 and not married to anyone else at the time. The former spouse must also actually meet requirements to receive Social Security. In order to claim on a former spouse's benefits, the amount that would be received from one's own benefits must be less than via the former spouse.

According to the Social Security Administration, benefits may be up to half of what the former spouse is eligible for. Additionally, there is no ability to earn delayed retirement credits. There must have been a minimum of a two-year time between the divorce and the time when a person files for a former spouse's Social Security benefit.

Multiple people may claim benefits from one person's earnings, including more than one former spouse, without it changing what each person may receive. Some of the rules around claiming divorced Social Security benefits will vary based upon if the benefit earner is alive or not at the time another person makes a claim.