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How can a divorce affect Social Security benefits in Georgia?

The benefits that come from a lifetime of working are ones that most people want to keep. When a couple divorces, many do not think about how benefits, such as Social Security, will be affected. In Georgia, knowing how to either protect Social Security benefits or how to benefit from a soon-to-be ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits during a divorce can greatly affect either party.

Looking into divorcing a spouse is a tough decision. Many couples try to make it through major milestones such as five or 10 years of marriage or more. Unfortunately, trying to wait and make those major milestones — while hoping for the marriage to get better — can be one of the details that either helps or hinders spousal benefits.

There are many factors that can affect a person receiving his or her ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits. Some of those factors include the marriage lasting 10 years or more, the ex-spouse being 62 years old or older and one spouse’s benefits being less than that of the other spouse’s benefits. Also, an ex-spouse may be able to file for spousal benefits with the Social Security Administration if the divorce has been final for over two years and if the owner of the Social Security is over the age of 62.

There are many decisions that have to be made during a divorce. If a person wants to benefit from an ex-spouse’s Social Security, he or she may want to stick out the marriage until at least after their 10th anniversary. In Georgia, knowing how divorce and Social Security benefits work for the ex-spouse can help with the finer details.

Source:, How divorce, remarriage impact Social Security, Robert Powell, Feb. 18, 2014