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Is My Social Security Check Divided in a Divorce?

 Posted on May 31, 2023 in Divorce

Geneva Divorce Over 50 AttorneyYou have saved a lifetime towards your Social Security in retirement, paying 6.2% of your income every paycheck. You are counting on this money when you are no longer working. You may be wondering if divorce will affect your Social Security benefits. The good news is that your government benefits are untouchable in a divorce. An Illinois divorce lawyer can explain which assets and income are subject to division in divorce.

Your Social Security Check Is Not on the Table

In Illinois, Social Security benefits are not subject to equitable distribution, and these benefits are not treated the same as retirement accounts. Even if an ex-spouse is claiming benefits based on your working record, as described below, it will not affect the size of your check. However, a court may consider the size of each spouse's potential Social Security check when deciding the equitable distribution of other marital property.

All Government Benefits Remain Yours

You may also be receiving other government benefits. For example, you could be a retired servicemember getting disability checks each month for your injuries. Those benefits remain yours, and they are not divisible in a divorce. However, your government pension and employer contributions to your retirement account are not considered a benefit, and those can be divided with your ex-spouse. 

You Could Receive a Larger Social Security Check

Your ex-spouse's work record could be the reason why you could receive a larger Social Security check. It is not uncommon for two spouses to earn disparate amounts of money during their careers.

You can receive half of your ex-spouse's full Social Security benefit (what they would receive when they reach retirement age) if the following criteria apply:

  • You are over the age of 62

  • You were married for at least ten years

  • Your ex-spouse was a wage earner who is entitled to Social Security benefits

  • You are not currently married

  • You have been divorced for at least two years

Your ex-spouse will not even know that you are claiming benefits based on their work record because their check will not be reduced. These enhanced benefits would end if you were to get remarried. 

Contact a DuPage County Over 50 Divorce Lawyer Today

The DuPage County divorce attorneys at Goostree Law Group can advise you on the special considerations involved in a gray divorce. Your first step is to call us at 630-634-5050 to schedule an appointment. We offer free consultations to prospective clients. 




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