Aaron & Aaron, Attorneys at Law
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Retirement benefits possible even decades after divorce

Social Security rules contain provisions for ex-spouses that allow for the payout of benefits even decades after a divorce. People who had been married for at least 10 years may be missing out on retirement funds by not investigating their benefits compared to those of their ex-partner. Claiming benefits after a divorce requires meeting certain criteria. The formulas determining the benefit totals are complex as well.

Besides the minimum 10 years of marriage, claims on an ex-spouse's work record also require the claimant to be unmarried at the time it is file. In one example, a divorced woman who later remarried may claim benefits on her first husband's marriage as long as her second marriage ended in divorce, annulment or death. The minimum age for claiming benefits is still 62, and the maximum payout requires waiting for full retirement age. .

The maximum a divorced spouse can receive from their former partner's benefits is 50 percent. This does not require a court dispute or open up other divorce legal issues as the the original claimant to benefits can still receive their full amount. Further, the claimants are also allowed to file their benefits claim separately without reference to whether the other party has filed yet.

Retirement accounts and benefits often take a backseat to child custody and other property division disputes divorce negotiations. The emotions surrounding these more prominent issues can make it difficult to plan for the future during the heat of a divorce. Unfortunately, this can create hardship for a non-working spouse or one who earns lower wages. Experienced attorneys can help by fully considering all marital assets and future benefits during divorce negotiations.

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