Does Social Security Factor into Divorce?

Have questions about Social Security and divorce? Talk to an attorney

When you are thinking about a divorce, there are a lot of things that you will need to consider--and many things you will need to resolve with your spouse--before your divorce can be finalized. In addition to things like dividing up property and making a determination about where shared children will live, you will also need to consider the role that Social Security will play in a divorce, as well as how your divorce will affect your Social Security benefits. Here is what you need to know.

Dividing Property and Social Security in a Divorce

Texas is a community property state. This means that all property and assets held in a marriage, regardless of who bought them, are considered to be community property so long as they were acquired during the course of the marriage. When property is divided, it must be done so in a right that is equitable, or just and right, but not necessarily equal.

But what about dividing Social Security benefits?

Social Security benefits are not divided in a divorce like other assets are. How they are divided and what types of benefits a spouse will be able to receive on their ex’s record is based on Social Security rules - discussed in more depth later. That being said, Social Security income could play a role in how a judge makes a decision. Because Social Security benefits are considered to be income, a judge may factor in those benefits when making a decision about division of property and spousal maintenance.

Social Security Benefits After Divorce

While the judge may not divide up your Social Security benefits, your benefits could indeed be impacted by your divorce. Divorced spouses are eligible to receive Social Security benefits based on the earnings record of their former spouseif they are currently single, at least 62 years of age, and were married for at least 10 years. If you are going to be eligible to claim benefits on your spouse’s record at the time that you divorce, the court will likely think about this, too, and consider it as part of your income during the divorce settlement process.

Keep in mind, also, that if you have been divorced more than once (and you were married to each for more than 10 years), you will have the option of choosing the greater of the two ex-spouse’s benefits, assuming you are now unmarried.

Call an Attorney in Pearland Texas to Learn More

When thinking about a divorce, there are dozens of things to consider. For the average person, this may be overwhelming. At the law office of John Powell III, P.C., our experienced Texas family law attorneys can help you by making sure you are not overlooking how various things, like Social Security, will impact your divorce. To learn more about divorce and how to plan for divorce, as well as how our family law attorney can represent you, call us today. We have experience working on a broad array of family law matters.