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The Divorce Attorney Journal

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    May 14, 2015
    8 yearsago

    Social Security benefits after divorceGood riddance, some might say after their divorce. That’s the end of that. Not necessarily. Your former marriage can actually impact your retirement benefits, and not always in a good way.

    For Richer or Poorer, Even After Divorce

    When it comes to retirement, Social Security income may not be the largest chunk of cash upon which a retiree relies every month, but this retirement asset is still critical and welcome. Individuals are eligible to claim a Social Security divorced spousal benefit if they were married for at least 10 years and divorced for two years before retirement. Married for less than 10 years? Even if you were married for nine years and 364 days, you’re out of luck.

    The reality is this: A change in your marital status can affect your Social Security benefits in a variety of ways, so don’t ever attempt a DIY divorce.

    • You can claim the best Social Security benefits. If your time as husband and wife lasted over a decade, you can claim either your own Social Security benefit or your ex’s benefit – whichever is higher – when you’re ready to retire.
    • You can claim both your benefits and your ex’s benefits. It’s actually possible to benefit from your own Social Security benefits as well as your former spouse’s, but not at the same time. For example, you can begin your divorced spousal benefit at the age of 66 – considered the full retirement age – and then switch to your own benefits when you hit age 70. This gives you four more years to allow your personal benefits to grow a little higher.
    • You don’t have to wait for your ex-spouse to file for Social Security first. You can become eligible for divorced spousal benefits if you and your ex are both at least 62 years of age. This is the earliest age that a person is eligible to file for personal or spousal benefits.

    Tax implications of your Michigan divorce >>

    If You Go to the Chapel Again

    If you remarry after your Michigan divorce, you typically lose any Social Security benefits that you may have been eligible for from your former spouse. What if you divorce twice and both marriages lasted more than 10 years? You could be eligible for both benefits, but you’ll still only receive the higher of the two benefits.

    If a former spouse is claiming divorced spousal benefits on your record, does that mean your retirement benefits may drop drastically? Nope. The Social Security Administration reports that the benefits payable to your divorced spouse have no effect on the amount of benefits you or your current spouse may receive.

    It’s important to know where you stand and how your Social Security benefits are calculated so that you can make the best decision about your retirement, yes, but also when to divorce. Hanging onto the marriage for a few more months could make all the difference for you later. Your Michigan divorce attorney can help guide you in your decision-making and recommend financial analysts to help you plan your future. Contact Michigan Divorce Help in Mt. Clemens, MI, to schedule your initial interview.

    What makes us the right divorce attorneys for you?

    Family Law Expertise

    Most lawyers are in a general practice and do some of everything. One of our main focuses is on Family law and being expert at divorce, custody and support matters.

    Strong Relationships

    We are in court daily, working with the family court judges, their staff and clerks, the Friend of the Court office, the Bar Association and other attorneys working in this area. We pride ourselves on fighting hard for our clients while working well with everyone.


    Our extensive experience and strong relationship with the courts and our peers leads many judges and attorneys to hire us to act as Mediators in other Family Law cases. Make no mistake; having a strong working relationship with the court can have a massive impact on your case. Unlike most attorneys, we have no fear of the court room and are in trial regularly against the best in the business. We see the judges every week and maintain strong ties with their staff.

    We Care

    Although every attorney can “handle” your case, Michigan Divorce Help cares about you and your family. We work extremely hard to keep this difficult process civil and to shelter your children from as much of the negative facets as possible.


    Once your case is concluded, we will be there to help you with any post-judgment problems that may arise.


    Everyone’s financial situation is different and we work with our clients to formulate a fee arrangement that works within your means.


    We have handled every possible situation involving domestic law. We will do everything possible to wrap up your case in a timely manner, avoiding delays that cause unnecessary legal fees.


    When your case cannot be easily solved, we will fight hard and use all of our resources to win. Unlike most attorneys, we have no fear of the court room and we regularly win cases against the best in the business at trial.

    Expert Staff

    Unlike many attorneys who have a part-time typist and work 30 hours a week, we have an expert staff available all day long to assist you and provide immediate service.

    Personal Service

    At Michigan Divorce Help, your case will be handled by an experienced family law attorney. Each of our attorneys in our family law division has many years of experience in handling family law matters.

    We encourage you to see these differences for yourself and call today to speak with one of our partners or schedule a free consultation at our office.

    During traditional business hours, please call us at: (586) 954-9500

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