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What Happens to My Social Security in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on February 22, 2024 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerFor as long as you worked, you have been paying a percentage of your monthly earnings towards your Social Security funds. In the back of your mind, you always knew you could count on benefiting from that money after years of hard work once you finally retired. But if you are nearing retirement and about to begin divorce proceedings, you might be concerned that your Social Security benefits might be affected. If you can relate to any of the above, you should speak with a knowledgeable Wheaton, IL divorce lawyer who can set your mind at ease.

Your Social Security Check Is Yours and Yours Alone

Social Security is not subject to equitable distribution of marital assets in the state of Illinois. Each person is entitled to the full amount of their own Social Security benefits regardless of whether they are going through a divorce.

This is not the only case where government benefits remain the sole property of the person whose name they are listed under. For example, if you are a retired serviceperson and you receive monthly disability checks, those are government benefits that would also remain yours regardless of a divorce. One of the only times when financial provisions from the government might be considered marital assets subject to equitable division is if you are a government employee; in such a case, your pension and whatever your employer contributed to your retirement account are considered an asset rather than a benefit and might be subject to equitable division.

On the other hand, there are certain circumstances under which you might receive half of the Social Security benefits that your ex-spouse is entitled to upon retirement age, including:

  • You are at least 62 years old.
  • Your marriage lasted 10 years at least.
  • You got divorced at least two years ago, if not longer.
  • Your ex is eligible for Social Security benefits as a legal wage earner.
  • You are not married at present.

If you were to claim benefits based on your ex’s work record, this would not affect them in any way, as the benefits that they would receive would remain unaffected. However, if you get remarried, these enhanced benefits will stop.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a DuPage County, IL Divorce Lawyer

If you are considering divorce but you or your spouse are nearing retirement age, you should speak with a Wheaton, IL divorce attorney who has experience dealing with divorce among couples of a similar age. At Divorce Over 50 - Goostree Law Group, we are well-versed in the ways that divorce in your fifties or later differs from divorce at a younger age, and we can offer invaluable advice as you move forward. Please call 630-634-5050 to schedule a free consultation.

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