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Social Security benefits after a divorce

Older Illinois couples who are planning on getting divorced might be concerned on the effect the split will have on their retirement finances. One of the benefits many older people depend on to help them cover living expenses is Social Security and in a divorce, they might worry that they will lose some of these benefits. Many people, however, will be able to still receive Social Security benefits based on their ex-spouse's work record if they meet the eligibility criteria.

To be eligible to claim and receive benefits based on their ex-spouse's work record, the couple must have been married for at least 10 years. The person receiving the benefits on their ex's work record must be at least 62 and unmarried, even if their ex-spouse has remarried. Additionally, the amount the person receives using their ex-spouse's work record must be greater than the amount they would receive based on their own work record, and the ex-spouse must be collecting benefits. One exception is for couples who have been divorced for more than two years and their ex has reached full retirement age but is just not claiming their benefits yet.

After the dissolution of a marriage, people might be entitled to receive up to 50% of the amount their ex-spouse will receive at full retirement age. In case they file for benefits under their own work record, they can also file to receive the difference between that amount and the amount they would receive under their ex's work record.

Financial planning is part of the divorce process. People can consult with a lawyer who might provide assistance during negotiations on the division of property and alimony.

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