It may be sad, but it is certainly true that more married couples are getting divorced than ever before. This is not just affecting newlyweds. Some people are divorcing as they approach the age to collect Social Security payments. And the act of ending a marriage may have an effect on how much people receive when they are ready.
Divorced spouses are often entitled to a payment equal to half of the ex-spouse’s full retirement amount. This is the case when people wait until their full retirement age to begin collecting benefits. It also is contingent on people receiving benefits under their own name first.
Recipients of a divorced spouse’s benefits must be 62 years old or more and also not currently be married. If the ex-spouse’s benefits are higher, then a person may receive an extra amount based on the difference between the two totals. This is true whether or not the ex-spouse is married.
Sometimes, people wait until after their full retirement to collect benefits. If this is the case, ex-spouses do not receive an extra amount. Extra payments do not affect the ex-spouse’s payments in any way. He or she will continue to receive their full allotment of benefits.
Questions about this and other issues that come up during the preparation and execution of a divorce are often best referred to a lawyer. An attorney can help represent a person’s interests during separation or divorce. Legal representation may even take care of forms, filings and other issues that people may not feel in a position to complete to success.