Most retirement plans revolve around social security benefits in some form or another once the person is old enough to qualify. In some cases, people don’t qualify on their own and instead benefit from spousal benefits. But after a divorce, those people may seem to suddenly have lost their retirement plan. This isn’t necessarily true.
The reason divorced spouses have the potential to qualify for the social security of their ex is because they contributed to the spouse’s income-earning capacity in one way or another. The Social Security Administration has guidelines to make sure the non-qualifying spouse fits these criteria. The marriage must have lasted at least ten years, and the non-qualifying spouse must not be remarried upon applying and be over 62 years of age. A couple may even file early, if the qualifying spouse is also at least 62 and collecting social security, or the couple has been divorced over two years.
It is common to worry that a collecting ex will diminish the qualified spouse’s benefits, but social security doesn’t work that way in this case. The non-qualify spouse’s benefits do not affect yours. This allows both spouses to have a comfortable retirement, even with independent financial situations.
If you are unsure the social security benefits you are entitled to post-divorce, contact an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer. The Law Offices of Michael P. Doman are available today for a consultation.