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What Happens to Social Security Benefits After Divorce?

When you get divorced, all of your marital property is subject to the asset and property division process. Marital property is defined as anything jointly owned by you as a couple. Any property you obtained before your marriage or as a result of an inheritance is not included in marital property.

What is often included, aside from regular property and money, are bank accounts, retirement accounts and pensions. But what about Social Security benefits? Do you risk losing some of these benefits if you get a divorce?

The simple answer is, “no.” No matter what your work history, any benefits you have earned through the Social Security Administration (SSA) remain yours when you reach the eligible age to collect.

Spouses may still receive benefits

Although an individual cannot lose his or her Social Security benefits, that person’s former spouse could still gain them. You might be eligible to receive one half of the amount your former spouse receives in Social Security if you were married for at least 10 consecutive years and meet other eligibility requirements.

It’s important to note that if you receive Social Security benefits and your former spouse is eligible to receive half the amount you do, that half does not come out of what you receive. You would receive all of the benefits owed to you, and your former spouse would receive half that amount from the SSA, as well.

If you have any questions about how Social Security benefits work after divorce, speak with a knowledgeable Minnesota divorce lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart.

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  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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