McCoy Fatula, APCMcCoy
Located in Roseville, CA

Understanging Social Security benefits in a divorce

Social Security benefits have long been on the horizon for many California residents and others throughout the nation. Once someone reaches a given retirement age, he or she is eligible to receive some level of benefits. This is also true for those couples that have gone through a divorce. Representatives from a personal financial website recently discussed how to avoid potential problems when dealing with Social Security following a divorce.

While much information is on the Social Security Administration's website regarding divorce benefits, it can be confusing. In fact, experts admit that the answers are sometimes not clear because there are so many variables and possibilities. For example, if someone was eligible for personal benefits as well as from an ex-spouse's work record, on which work history would the benefits be based? The amount would be determined by whichever is greater between the personal benefit or half the former spouse's benefit. Yet, rather than simply pay the larger amount, a calculation is done to make up the difference in amount.

Financial planners report that if retirement is taken at age 62, there will be a reduced benefit. However, it is also of note that if someone works past the full retirement age, the benefit will no longer increase. Unfortunately, several have received incorrect information at the Social Security Administration. It would a good idea to seek advice from another trusted source.

Receiving Social Security benefits may be years away for many California residents. However, it is important to consider all aspects of finances when going through a divorce. An experienced divorce attorney understands the legal process and can recommend to clients how best to proceed.

Source:, "How Do Social Security Benefits for Divorced Spouses Work?", March 7, 2018

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