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Collecting Social Security spousal benefits after divorce

More than 95% of all American employees are covered by Social Security with the ability to collect benefits when they retire. For Louisiana residents who are married spousal benefits may figure into Social Security benefits. In the event of divorce, those benefits won’t be lost, but it is important residents know their rights when it comes to how divorce can impact Social Security funds and what impact divorce might have on a retirement plan.

Even after divorce, a person may be entitled to spousal benefits under a Social Security plan, but the couple had to have been married for 10 or more years. That is also the case if a former spouse has remarried. There are conditions that have to be met: The person wishing to collect spousal benefits must be unmarried and must be 62 years of age or older; the former spouse must be eligible to collect Social Security benefits and the person wishing to collect has benefits that are less than his or her former spouse’s. 

If a divorced spouse qualifies, he or she can collect half of a former spouse’s retirement allotment or disability benefit at retirement age, though the former spouse’s own payment is not affected. If the person in receipt of those benefits remarries, he or she gives up the right to continue to receive those benefits. However, he or she may collect on the new spouse’s benefits. If the second marriage ends in divorce or the new spouse dies, the person may be able to revert to collecting on the former spouse’s benefits once again.

There are many issues embroiled in a divorce situation, some of which include things like collecting money Social Security based upon the work record of a former spouse. A Louisiana divorce lawyer may be able to help a client in this situation to ascertain what those might be. Many people aren’t aware of their rights whereas a lawyer would be.


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