How are Social Security benefits divided in a North County divorce? If you or your spouse receive Social Security will a divorce affect your payments?
The number of divorces in those above the age of 52 has substantially increased over the past few decades. Here in California most are committed to enjoying the outdoors lifestyle and are committed to remaining fit and active. As a result there are more questions regarding the impact of divorce upon those above the age of fifty often referred to as “Gray Divorce.”
It is not uncommon in these scenarios that one of the spouses remained at home to raise children and manage the household while the other served as the primary source of income. As a result, many spouses in a Gray Divorce have not paid into Social Security over the years, or the income they earned while paying Social Security was lower than the amount needed to qualify for maximum benefits.
The answer to the question “How are Social Security benefits divided in a North County divorce,” and the associated good news is Social Security provides benefits to spouses who have been married longer than 10 years once they reach retirement age. The spouse is eligible to receive a portion of all benefits earned by the higher income spouse before their retirement, even those years after the divorce took place. This is true even if your former spouse remarries down the road.
In these scenarios, Social Security benefits are usually paid as follows:
The primary or higher wage earner reaches retirement age and becomes eligible to receive monthly Social Security benefits
The party former spouse (of 10 years or more) who did not work or had a low income threshold is eligible to receive an amount that is equal to approximately half of the primary or higher wage earner’s monthly benefit.
The key is the 10 year threshold. If a couple is close to the 10 year marriage duration point it may be in their best interests to consider delaying the divorce until after their 10 year anniversary.
The questions of “how are Social Security benefits divided in a North County divorce,” as well as other retirement division, community property and spousal support in Gray Divorces are usually quite complex. This is why it is important to work with the experienced and Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq. Based in Carlsbad, we have served North County for decades and provide the benefit of expert insight into the complex issues surrounding your divorce.
We invite you to contact us or call 760-712-3741 to learn more or schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys.