How Does Divorce Affect My Social Security Benefits in South Carolina?
During divorce proceedings in South Carolina, the parties typically focus on the division of property and assets, alimony payments and child custody arrangements. One aspect they may overlook — which can have significant long-term financial implications — is how divorce impacts Social Security (SS) benefits.
Can an Ex-Spouse Get Social Security in South Carolina?
Many people are unaware of how divorce applies to Social Security payments. A divorce judgment or settlement could result in an individual paying a portion of their benefits to their ex-spouse if the intended recipient meets all the requirements.
How Does SS Work in a Divorce?
You can receive spousal Social Security benefits after a divorce if you meet the following criteria:
- Spouse’s eligibility: You won’t be entitled to payments if your ex-spouse doesn’t meet the SS eligibility requirements.
- Length of marriage: Your marriage must have lasted 10 years or longer. You can still reach this threshold if your marriage officially ends on or after what would have been your 10th wedding anniversary.
- Age: You must be at least 62 years old to receive benefits. If you’re younger when your divorce is finalized, you’ll have to wait until you reach this age.
- No remarriage: You must stay unmarried after your divorce. If you choose to remarry, you won’t be eligible for the benefits unless your subsequent union ends in divorce, annulment or your new spouse’s death.
- Relationship between SS, divorce and retirement accounts: If you receive other benefits from work you did before retiring, you must select between the amount of those benefits or half of the retirement benefits earned by your ex-spouse.
What Percentage of the Benefits Does a Spouse Get in South Carolina?
If you meet all the criteria listed above and start receiving benefits at your full retirement age, you will receive 50% of your former spouse’s maximum retirement amount (or disability payment if your former spouse is getting these benefits). Use your year of birth to determine your eligibility age:
- Before 1937: Age 65
- 1938-1959: Between the ages of 65 and 67
- 1960 or later: Age 67
When Can You Start Receiving Spousal Benefits?
While you may start receiving spousal benefits when turning 62, doing so can reduce your amount since you are getting payments before your full age for retirement under the SS guidelines. You can wait until age 70 to begin receiving the benefits for a higher monthly payout if you don’t need the money right away.
Contact Lauren Taylor Law Today for More Information
Do you have questions about divorced spouse benefits in South Carolina? Lauren Taylor Law has the answers. Our firm focuses on handling divorces and other family law cases. You’ll work with a local attorney with extensive experience in this specialized legal area who understands your unique situation.
Contact Lauren Taylor Law today to schedule a spousal Social Security consultation. You can also call our office at 843-790-9009 .
South Carolina divorce attorney Lauren Taylor practices family law in Charleston and Greenville. She graduated from the Charlotte School of Law, and has been practicing for more than ten years.
Since the firm’s inception in 2012, Mrs. Taylor has helped hundreds of people navigate the uncertainties surrounding the family and criminal court process.
She has cultivated a team that ensures each case has a strategy crafted specifically to the clients needs and desires.
Her commitment to top notch service has led her to open two additional offices in the low country where she now resides with her husband Michael and her golden retriever, Buster.