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Social Insecurity

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Social Insecurity

{2:48 minutes to read}I recently attended the Annual Conference of the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation where one of the presentations dealt with Social Security and divorce.

Social-Insecurity-DPLIC-300x200During the session, the presenter stated that as long as you were married for 10 years or more, your Social Security benefits would be based upon either your earnings or the earnings of your spouse, whichever provides a greater benefit. This would apply even if you and your spouse were divorced.

But, she went on to say, if you remarry before you turn age 60, you lose the benefits you would have received based on your former spouse’s earnings and would only be entitled to benefits based on your own earnings, or those of your current spouse.

And therein lies the problem. Someone could get remarried before they were 60, not realizing that they would lose the social security benefit they had earned from their first spouse.

If things did not work out and the 2nd marriage ended in divorce before they were married 10 years, they would be left with no spousal benefit at all. (If the second marriage lasted 2 years or more and ended in death, they could still receive survivor benefits based on the second spouse’s earnings.)

If you had worked long enough to qualify for Social Security, you would still be entitled to those benefits. But if you were a stay-at-home parent and did not work long enough to obtain your own benefits, you could be left with no Social Security at all just because you inadvertently remarried before you turned 60!

And there is nothing in place, at least that I can find, that would alert you to this.

This potential loss of benefits is another reason why anyone considering remarriage should be sure to have a prenuptial agreement drafted to prevent such an outcome.

If anyone out there has come to a different conclusion, please feel free to share your thoughts and comments on this topic in the box below.

Daniel R. Burns

Attorney & Mediator
1187 Troy Schenectady Road
Latham, NY 12110
Phone: (518) 529-5200

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2017-01-30T11:33:51+00:00 By |Dan Burns, Mediation|

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