Over the past few years, the baby boomer generation (1946 through 1964) has seen an uptick in divorces. One of the reasons why so many are studying this issue is because so much more is at stake with this age group than a couple in their 30s. Baby boomers in New Jersey and around the country don’t usually have to worry about child custody as their children may already be adults. However, they do have to worry about retirement benefits, such as Social Security. Therefore, the following includes a more detailed look into divorce and your Social Security benefits.
Myths regarding Social Security claims
Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths and half-truths when it comes to Social Security benefits. Therefore, it is important to note some of the misconceptions that are out there as they may greatly affect the result of your divorce case. Let’s begin with the notion that filing for divorce grants you all of your spouse’s benefits. This is a myth and something that rarely, if ever, happens in court. Next involves the myth that not only will you receive your benefits but also half of your ex’s. This is a case of a half-truth. Yes, you would receive your benefits, but other factors would come into play regarding dipping into your spouses’ benefits.
Stating the facts
One of the biggest misconceptions regarding divorce and Social Security is that they must adhere to state law. Although certain state laws do come into play during a divorce, the IRS codes must be followed when it comes to Social Security. Let’s take your divorce settlement as an example. Say that your divorce settlement states that you can’t claim benefits from your ex-spouse’s earnings record. It is imperative to contact the IRS to ensure that this does not overlap the IRS’s code as federal laws can overwrite state laws. In addition, you should also be aware of what the IRS codes say regarding your ability to file a claim for benefits. For example, a couple that has not been married for more than 10 years cannot file a claim against their ex-spouse for benefits.
The journey of going through a divorce, especially at retirement age, can be very complicated and lengthy. Thus, it is imperative that you have the right family law attorney by your side as it may lead to a better outcome.