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Divorce and Social Security benefits

Individuals in New Jersey who are divorcing may wonder how a divorce will affect any Social Security benefits that they might receive from their ex-spouse. In most cases, individuals who were married for fewer than 10 years cannot claim spousal or survivor benefits. However, survivor benefits will be distributed with fewer than 10 years of marriage if the individual is caring for a disabled child or a child under the age of 16 who is eligible for benefits.

Remarrying after divorce may also affect those benefits. Most of the time, the individual will then become eligible through their new spouse. However, individuals who marry after the age of 60 remain eligible for survivor benefits.

Individuals who are divorced and are eligible for Social Security benefits from their spouse do have one advantage over their married counterparts. They can file for benefits without waiting for their ex-spouse to retire. If they were married, they would not be able to do so until the spouse filed, and doing so prior to retirement age would mean lower benefits for the spouse.

Individuals who are divorcing might be thinking about issues like child custody and asset division, but there may be a number of other things such as Social Security benefits and taxes that they failed to consider. They may wish to discuss the situation with an attorney to help ensure that these points are addressed. Sometimes, an attorney might act as an effective disinterested third party to assist their client in making those decisions.

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