Social Security And Divorce In North Carolina

If certain criteria are met, individuals who were married to their former spouses for 10 years or longer may be entitled to additional Social Security benefits. It is important to note that a couple must be married for 10 consecutive years for a lower earning spouse to claim benefits based on the other spouse’s work record. However, if a couple was married during a part of a year, it may count toward that 10-year requirement.

In the event that both parties are still alive when they hit full retirement age, an individual may receive up to half of what their former spouse may receive. This is in lieu of whatever benefit the individual may be entitled to based on his or her own work record.

It may also be possible to receive full benefits based on a former spouse’s work record if he or she passes away. Those who are married to their spouse for at least nine months when he or she passes may be considered a widow or widower. If a couple is married for 10 years or longer and gets divorced, the surviving spouse may entitled to the deceased former spouse’s full benefit.

Those who are going through the divorce process may wish to consider their timing with respect to Social Security benefits. Those who wait 10 years or longer to get a divorce may help their former spouse get extra benefits that may help them financially. An attorney may be able to help with this and other issues that may need to be resolved prior to finalizing the divorce.