Jeffrey Feulner, Managing Attorney of the Men’s Divorce Law Firm, is featured in today’s Orlando Sentinel in the “Ask a Lawyer” section. Today’s question concerns who is entitled to Social Security benefits after a divorce.
Question: I have been divorced for 25 years, and my former wife remarried 22 years ago.
In the meantime I have had a long-term relationship with a woman I am considering marrying.
I have heard that as a former spouse my ex-wife could have a claim on my Social Security benefits when I die. If I remarry, who will have rights to those benefits?
Answer: Whether your former wife would be entitled to Social Security benefits based on your earnings will hinge on a number of factors, including whether your marriage with her lasted more than 10 years. If it did not, she would not be entitled to collect Social Security based on your earnings record.
If the marriage exceeded 10 years, she may qualify for Social Security benefits equal to one-half of your full retirement amount, or slightly less, if — at the time you start receiving your benefits — she is unmarried, 62 years or older and is not eligible for an equal or higher benefit on her own, or someone else’s, earning record.
But even if she did qualify, your new spouse’s benefits would not be affected. They will depend on her age, work history and whether or not you have dependent children. For more information visit the Social Security Administration’s Web site, SSA.gov, which features a retirement benefit estimator.
Question answered by Attorney Jeffrey Feulner
If you would like to learn more about how the Men’s Divorce Law Firm can help you, please feel free to contact us at 407-644-1896, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.