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How divorce rule affects Social Security for Colorado spouses

Tolison & Williams | 7 March, 2014 | Divorce

Divorce is almost never easy, especially when dividing assets. Many Colorado spouses are aware that they may be entitled to receive their ex-spouses' Social Security benefits if the marriage lasted for at least 10 years. There are other rules to consider, outside of the duration of marriage, to be able to receive those benefits, including the two-year divorce rule.

In addition to the 10 year rule, ex-spouses are both required to have reached the age of 62. The spouse wishing to receive the benefits is required to stay unmarried to continue receiving the benefits. Moreover, if the ex has not yet started to receive social security benefits, the spouse wishing to receive benefits has to be divorced for a period of at least two years. However, there may be an exception to the two-year rule. An example of this is a situation involving a 65-year-old woman who is currently divorcing her husband of over 10 years.

The woman wishes to delay receiving her own Social Security until she reaches age 70 while she continues to run her business. The husband is 67 years old and is currently receiving his benefits, and once someone reaches the age of 66, the two-year rule does not apply. Once the woman turns 66, she can qualify to receive half of her ex-husband's benefits and continue receiving them until she turns 70.

Divorce can be an emotionally charged event that affects spouses and other family members. As the spouses get older, they have likely accumulated more assets and have more at stake. By seeking legal assistance, reviewing the laws and becoming educated on the legal rights and ramifications, Colorado spouses can ensure they are making a well-informed financial decision.

Source: Investment News, Duration of marriage and divorce affect Social Security benefits, Mary Beth Franklin, Feb. 27, 2014