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Could divorce cost me my Social Security?

Divorce can be a scary time because you do not know what you might lose because of the process. Many kinds of assets can fall under property division. You may have heard that retirement accounts are also eligible for division. Does this mean your Social Security is at risk?

You deserve to have peace of mind concerning assets that you can keep. The good news is that Social Security is one such asset that divorce cannot threaten.

Divorce and your Social Security

The Motley Fool explains that your Social Security money does not exist in an account. The government pays out your money from a trust fund. Since your money is not in an account, a divorce decree cannot reach into it and take proceeds to give to your ex. Nothing that your spouse does can affect how much money you receive from Social Security when you become eligible for it.

Claiming benefits on your work record

You may have heard that your former spouse could receive Social Security benefits based on your work record. This is possible if you and your spouse were in a marriage for at least 10 years and it has been two years since your divorce. You and your ex must also be at least 62 years old.

However, even if your ex-spouse successfully claims benefits derived from your work record, it does not lower any amount you receive from Social Security.

Answering questions about your consent

You may wonder if Social Security must grant you consent before your ex can claim benefits on your record. The answer is no. In fact, Social Security does not have to notify you that your former spouse is utilizing your work record for benefits.

Basically, your ex has no ability to harm your Social Security money. People going through a divorce can better benefit by focusing on holding on to assets like 401(k)s, IRAs and pensions that may bolster what they receive from Social Security to enjoy a good retirement after divorce.

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