When people divorce in Texas, finances are often a major concern. As part of the divorce settlement, issues such as property division, alimony and child support will either be negotiated between the spouses or decided by a judge. What many people do not realize, however, is that they may be entitled to claim Social Security on the earnings of their former spouse even after divorce.
Many people understand that when they reach full retirement age, they can begin collecting Social Security. In some cases, however, it may make more sense to collect on an ex-spouse's benefits if the spouse's benefit is higher than the retiring individual's own benefit.
There are a few key considerations when it comes to collecting on ex-spouse's benefits. First are the length of the marriage and the time that has passed since the couple divorced. The former spouses must have been married for at least 10 years and divorced for at least 2 years for either spouse to be able to collect on the other's Social Security. The second consideration is whether the collecting spouse remarried. Typically, remarrying after a divorce disqualifies an individual from collecting on their ex-spouse's Social Security. There is an exception, however, for those who remarry after the age of 60 and whose former spouse is deceased having had a larger benefit.
Social Security benefits after divorce can be a complicated matter, potentially requiring documentation and working with legal and financial professionals to ensure that one is making the best financial decisions possible. Speaking with a family law attorney may be helpful. The lawyer may be able to review a client's financial situation and, when appropriate, applying for the appropriate benefits.