Social Security benefits do not disappear after divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2021 | Family Law |

Saving for retirement takes more than just a few years. Many people in North Carolina spend their entire working careers setting money aside for their future. Unfortunately, divorce can shake up some of those retirement plans. This does not mean it is impossible to retire after divorce, but that divorcees should be sure to consider all sources of possible income during their later years.

Social Security benefits

Social Security benefits can be an excellent source of financial stability after divorce. However, not everyone realizes that it is possible to draw benefits based on an ex’s work history instead of their own. To be able to do so, someone must first meet the following qualifications:

  • Have been married for at least 10 years
  • Have been divorced for at least 2 years and not remarried
  • The benefits based on the ex’s work history must be higher than one’s own

Although drawing on an ex’s work history will not affect how much he or she receives, this does not stop some people from trying to stop their exes. It is not uncommon to come across a divorce decree that forbids one spouse from filing for benefits based on the other’s record. This is entirely unenforceable, and so long as the spouse qualifies, it will not prevent him or her from drawing much needed benefits.

There are a number of reasons why drawing benefits on one’s own work record might not be enough. For example, people often leave the workforce to raise children, care for loved ones or otherwise support the career of their spouse. Anyone who is in this position and going through a divorce might feel understandably worried about their financial future during divorce. However, taking the time to learn more about North Carolina family law and what to watch out for during divorce could prove helpful.