Retirement Benefits & Social Security

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In Michigan, assets accumulated during the marriage are divided equally in a divorce.  This includes retirement benefits.  There are two types of retirement benefits.  Fits, there are defined contribution plans.  This includes 401(k), 403(b), and IRA accounts.  It is a fixed dollar amount that moves with the stock market.  There is also defined benefit plans.  This benefit is typically (blank) per month when you retire.  Both benefits are marital assets to the extent they were accumulated during the marriage or the part that grew during the marriage.  These benefits can be divided with a QDRO or EDRO ( a court order setting up a separate account for the spouse).  Alternatively, retirement benefits can be off-set against another asset (like house equity or stock accounts).

Social Security benefits for former spouses are automatically available as a matter of law.  Nothing is put in the divorce judgment regarding social security.

A person can receive benefits as a divorced spouse on a former spouse’s Social Security record if he or she:

  • Was married to the former spouse for at least 10 years;
  • Is at least age 62 years old;
  • Is unmarried; and
  • Is not entitled to a higher Social Security benefit on his or her own record.

In addition, the former spouse must be entitled to receive his or her own retirement or disability benefit. If the former spouse is eligible for a benefit, but has not yet applied for it, the divorced spouse can still receive a benefit if he or she meets the eligibility requirements above and has been divorced from the former spouse for at least two years.

Generally, we cannot pay benefits if the divorced spouse remarries someone other than the former spouse, unless the latter marriage ends (whether by death, divorce, or annulment), or the marriage is to a person entitled to certain types of Social Security auxiliary or survivor’s benefits.

A person can receive benefits as a surviving divorced spouse on the Social Security record of a former spouse who died fully insured, if he or she:

  • Is at least age 60, or age 50 and disabled;
  • Was married to the former spouse for at least 10 years; and
  • Is not entitled to a higher Social Security benefit on his or her own record.

If the surviving divorced spouse age 60 or over applying for benefits remarried after age 60, or after age 50 and at the time of remarriage was entitled to disability benefits, we disregard the marriage. If a person is already entitled to benefits as an aged or disabled surviving divorced spouse and remarries, benefits continue regardless of the person’s age at the time of remarriage.

The benefits paid to a divorced spouse or a surviving divorced spouse will not affect the benefit amount paid to other family members who receive benefits on the same record.

There is more information on the Social Security website at:

http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/299/~/qualifying-for-divorced-spouse-benefits

If you are facing a divorce and have questions about retirement benefits or social security, a good divorce attorney is not optional, it is a requirement! Our divorce attorneys can answer your questions with straight talk.  Having the right divorce attorney on your side can relieve your stress during this difficult situation.  Our attorneys have over 95 years of divorce experience.  Our attorneys have extensive divorce trial experience.  Typical fees to retain attorney for a divorce case can range and from 1,500 dollars to as high as 10,000 dollars.  Considering the seriousness of this life changing event, it is extremely important to retain the services of an experienced attorney in the area of divorce.

Krupp Law Offices P.C. is located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan and has the right divorce attorney for you. We represent clients in all divorce matters throughout West Michigan, , including the cities of Grand Rapids, Big Rapids, Ionia, Grand Haven, Stanton, Greenville, Wayland, Allegan, Holland, Newaygo, White Cloud, Fremont, Coopersville, Hastings, Middleville, Wyoming, and Rockford including Kent County, Ottawa County, Newaygo County, Ionia County, Mecosta County, Barry County, Montcalm County, and Allegan County Michigan.

Call for a free phone consultation.  Our office can help.

KRUPP LAW OFFICES PC
161 Ottawa NW Suite 404
Grand Rapids MI 49503
616-459-6636 or mail@krupplaw.com

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