Click to call 602-254-8880 24/7 Click Here for Free Consultation

Social Security Benefits and Divorce

Maybe you all know this already, but I have had several cases where the issue of dividing social security benefits has been raised (especially in cases where one spouse earned significantly more than the other during the marriage).  Below is a brief summary, and follow-up website to provide clients with should they ask these questions.

How will my divorce affect my pension benefits?

If you are divorced, but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you can receive benefits on your ex-spouse’s record (even if he or she has remarried) if:

  • You are unmarried;
  • You are age 62 or older;
  • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work; and
  • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits.

If you remarry, you generally cannot collect benefits on your former spouse’s record unless your later marriage ends (whether by death, divorce or annulment).

If your ex-spouse has not applied for retirement benefits, but can qualify for them, you can receive benefits on his or her record if you have been divorced for at least two years.

If you are eligible for retirement benefits on your own record we will pay that amount first. But if

  • the benefit on his or her record is a higher amount, you will get a combination of benefits that equals that higher amount (reduced for age).
  • you have reached full retirement age and you are eligible for a spouse’s benefit and your own retirement benefit, you have a choice.

You can choose to receive only the divorced spouse’s benefits now and delay receiving retirement benefits until a later date. If retirement benefits are delayed, a higher benefit may be received at a later date based on the effect of delayed retirement credits.

If you

  • continue to work while receiving benefits, the retirement benefit earnings limit still applies. If you are eligible for benefits this year and are still working, you can use our earnings test calculator to see how those earnings would affect your benefit payments.
  • will also receive a pension based on work not covered by Social Security, such as government or foreign work, your Social Security benefit on your ex-spouse’s record may be affected.

The amount of benefits you get has no effect on the amount of benefits your ex-spouse or their current spouse may receive.

If you need information about benefits your ex-spouse can receive based on your record, please read Benefits for your divorced spouse.

Click Here for Free ConsultationComparison Questions to Ask when Hiring a Lawyer

Request a Free Consultation

Fill out the form below to recieve a free and confidential intial consultation.

Click here for important legal disclaimer.


Better Business Bureau
A+ Rating

Member Since 1989
American Bar Association

Superior DUI Attorney
American Bar Association

Top Valley Lawyer
North Valley Magazine

Life Member
Arizona Attorneys forCriminal Justice

American Association for Justice

Sustaining Member
Arizona Trial Lawyers Association

Fellow Member
American Bar Foundation

Lifetime Charter Member
Best Attorneys of America

DUI Defense Lawyers Association

Charter Member
Trial Masters

Top 10 Attorney
National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys

National College forDUI Defense

Top 10 DUI/DWI Law Firm
American Institute of DUI / DWI Attorneys

Top 100 Lawyer
American Society of Legal Advocates

Client Satisfaction Award
American Institute of DUI / DWI Attorneys

Top 100 Trial Lawyers
(Criminal Defense)

American Trial Lawyers Association

Super Lawyer
Criminal & DUI Defense

Nation's Top 1% Attorney
National Association of Distinguished Counsel

AV-Highest Rated Preeminent Lawyers