Part of our learning process is listening to and participating in webinars regarding Social Security. Most of the time it is things we have encountered in the past seven years, but not this week.

Here are the rules regarding Spousal Benefits for Divorcees (both men and women):

Divorced spouse benefits if you:

Are single

Are at least age 62

Were married at least 10 years

The ex-spouse must be receiving a Social Security retirement or disability benefit

Independently Entitled Divorced Spouse:

Divorced for at least two years

Are single

Are both at least age 62

Were married at least 10 years

Ex-spouse does not have to be receiving benefits

The benefit amount is 50 percent of the ex-spouse’s PIA (primary insurance amount). You may collect spousal benefits if your ex-spouse qualifies for his or her own retirement benefits even if your ex has not yet applied for benefits, provided you have been divorced for at least two years prior to the date of your filing for spousal benefits. If you have remained single and your ex has remarried, the spousal benefits that you collect will not affect the benefits that your ex and the new spouse are entitled to receive.

If you file for these benefits prior to your Full Retirement age they will be reduced for taking early. For divorced beneficiaries born in 1953 or earlier, as long as neither spouse has remarried and both wait for Full Retirement Age, both divorced spouses may file a Restricted Application for spousal benefits on each other’s records.

With that being said, the divorce rules are quite cumbersome and complicated. Many options to choose from in most cases.

But what did we learn? The 10-year period that qualifies you for these benefits is not from the date of marriage to the date of court hearing to finalize divorced – it is from the date of marriage to the date the Clerk’s office filed the decree. We heard of a case where the Clerk’s office did not file this decree for several months and as a result it bumped this couple into the 10 years of marriage category. So, always check the final filing date from the Clerk’s office, not the court hearing date.

Pillars LLC is in the Corinth, MS area but service all 50 states. Roy and Diane are both National Social Security Advisors and Roy is a former CPA of over 40 years. You may contact them at dthompson@pillarsllc.com, or visit their website at www.pillarsllc.com or call at 601-954-0699.

Pillars LLC is in the Corinth, MS area but service all 50 states. Roy and Diane are both National Social Security Advisors and Roy is a former CPA of over 40 years. You may contact them at dthompson@pillarsllc.com, or visit their website at www.pillarsllc.com or call at 601-954-0699.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.