California couples who are going through a divorce likely have heard remarks regarding social security benefits. While some of these remarks may be based on truth or experience, others are likely not. By understanding the top myths about Social Security and divorce, you can better prepare your divorce decree to work in your favor.
You can ban your spouse from your Social Security benefits
Some divorce decrees do have a clause that states a spouse may not get the other’s Social Security benefits. While this may seem like a great idea at first, it’s not legally enforceable. As long as your former spouse meets the minimum requirement for being entitled to your benefits, they may do so according to the Social Security Administration. This minimum requirement is being married for at least 10 years.
You have to wait for your former spouse to claim benefits before you get them
You’re eligible for claiming benefits as long as you’re 62 years of age and your former spouse meets two requirements. These requirements include that they are 62 years of age or older and they have a minimum of 40 work credits. It doesn’t matter if they are claiming their benefits yet or not. As long as you meet the requirements, you can claim your benefits.
Claiming their benefits will reduce the amount they receive
You have no effect on the amount of benefits that your ex-spouse receives from Social Security. When you use them to claim a higher benefit amount, it simply results in you receiving more money from the Social Security Administration.