An individual that is eligible for Social Security benefits can obtain
benefits in the event that he/she or her spouse files for divorce. Below
are two different calculations used to determine the amount the spouse
- A calculation based on 100% of his or her earned benefit amount
- A calculation based on 50% of his or her ex-spouse’s earned benefit
sum. This option is only provided if the couple was married for a minimum
of ten full years, the claimant has not entered another marriage, and
the spouse is at least 62 years of age.
This award does not adversely affect the ex-spouse. In fact, the ex-spouse
will still be entitled to collect 100% of her or his Social Security benefit.
According to New Jersey law, a martial partnership is terminated upon the
filing for divorce. However, until the subsequent entry of a Judgement
of Divorce, a couple remains legally married. In regards to Social Security
benefits, the latter of the rules applies, so the date of judgment is
utilized to calculate Social Security awards and adjustments.
But, what if an individual has been married for 9 years when he or she
files for divorce? The answer is simple. If the judgement is issued six
months later, neither of the spouses can claim the 50% ex-spouse benefit
because the length of marriage will only be a total of 9.5 years, which
makes the marriage six months short of eligibility. Similarly, if a complaint
is filed after 9.5 years and the judgment is issued 6 months later, either
spouse can apply for the 50% ex-spouse benefit since the marriage will
have lasted at least 10 years.
Under this model, an individual who would obtain a greater benefit using
the 50% ex-spouse rule would be wise to postpone the entry of a Judgement
of Divorce until a complete decade has passed. Because the timing to file
for divorce can affect different variables of a person’s life, an
individual who is contemplating divorce should contact experienced legal
representation right away. A skilled lawyer can examine the individual’s
case and determine which strategies can best protect his or her future.
If you are contemplating divorce and would like legal guidance through
the process, we urge you to
get in touch with
our Bergen County divorce lawyers at Moskowitz Law Group, LLC right away! We can provide you with a free