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Old 12-27-2011, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Oriental, NC
917 posts, read 2,090,860 times
Reputation: 449

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I will be 62 in July. I was a stay-at-home mom for most of my life (had 7 children) only started working 6 years ago. S.S. on my own merit would be VERY low. My husband of 29 years and I can"t stand each other and want to divorce. My question is, at 62 do I get a larger percentage of his benefit if I begin before the divorce is final and apply as a "spouse"? or should I wait until the divorce is final? This is quite important as All I earn in a month at my job is a little less then $800. Obviously I need the largest benefit possible as soon as possible in order to survive on my own! I called the people at S.S. and all they would say was I would be stuck with whatever status I had at the time I applied. Please someone give me some info I can work with. Thanks!
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,744 posts, read 4,213,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann in Oriental View Post
I will be 62 in July. I was a stay-at-home mom for most of my life (had 7 children) only started working 6 years ago. S.S. on my own merit would be VERY low. My husband of 29 years and I can"t stand each other and want to divorce. My question is, at 62 do I get a larger percentage of his benefit if I begin before the divorce is final and apply as a "spouse"? or should I wait until the divorce is final? This is quite important as All I earn in a month at my job is a little less then $800. Obviously I need the largest benefit possible as soon as possible in order to survive on my own! I called the people at S.S. and all they would say was I would be stuck with whatever status I had at the time I applied. Please someone give me some info I can work with. Thanks!
More information needed. How old is he and what is his current income? Is he still working?
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:28 PM
 
433 posts, read 991,407 times
Reputation: 389
I'm not an expert, so please don't rely on anything I say, but your question interested me so I did some quick checking.

Has your husband filed for Social Security? If not, when will he file?

I understand your husband must file for benefits before you can begin receiving them on his record.

Also, as I understood what I read online at the Social Security site, if a *former* spouse is eligible for Social Security but has not yet applied for it, the divorced spouse cannot receive the benefit until they have been divorced for at least two years. I certainly could have misinterpreted this, but if I'm right and your husband doesn't file for Soc.Sec., you couldn't get anything until after you had been divorced for two years.

Either way, if you file when you're 62, you won't get as much as if you waited until your full retirement age.

There's a lot of information available online. I suggest you take your time and research this very carefully. Here's one place:

Frequently Asked Questions

I'd also suggest you call Social Security and ask what exact amount you could get if you file next year when you're 62 and are still married (mentioning nothing about divorce).

Good luck to you.
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
21,534 posts, read 43,962,244 times
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Visit your local SS office. I have never bothered with the phone. Talk to five people, get five different answers. Same w/IRS. Experienced reps in your local office can help you. If you need money now and know you can't support yourself, you better apply for spousal benefit before the divorce. You receive a higher benefit the longer you defer collecting, but from what you say that is not an option. Once divorced, you may be forced to wait if husband has not applied for benefits as well.
Quote:
If you have not applied for retirement benefits, but can qualify for them, your ex-spouse can receive benefits on your record if you have been divorced for at least two years.

http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/yourdivspouse.htm

Last edited by Ariadne22; 12-27-2011 at 09:05 PM..
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:44 PM
 
1,831 posts, read 2,134,599 times
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You should not divorce. It is not your best financial move. You should learn to live together for financial reasons if no other. The focus should be on maintaining the union. You should spend a great deal of time reviewing financial data.
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:56 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,463,318 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mortpes View Post
You should not divorce. It is not your best financial move. You should learn to live together for financial reasons if no other. The focus should be on maintaining the union. You should spend a great deal of time reviewing financial data.
And here I thought indentured servitude was abolished constitutionally.

Some things just aren't worth the price of admission. Nothing is worth selling your soul for.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,964,817 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mortpes View Post
You should not divorce. It is not your best financial move. You should learn to live together for financial reasons if no other. The focus should be on maintaining the union. You should spend a great deal of time reviewing financial data.
Divorce is the best financial move for many. It depends on how one spouse handles money. Also, sanity or insanity translates to cost.

As to the OP, make a brief list of the most important q's and do as Lenora said--get answers from several different SS reps. They do not always hand out the same information.
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:35 PM
 
1,080 posts, read 826,681 times
Reputation: 1201
My aunt was in a similar situation, but I'd visit Social Security in person, not over the phone, like Ariadnee22 said . . .You may find some answers to some of your questions on the following links:

Social Security Benefits after Divorce Laws, Info, & Legal Help | Library | MyFamilyLaw.com

10 Social Security Facts About Benefits For An Ex-Spouse
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:03 PM
 
Location: SoCal
6,063 posts, read 9,520,860 times
Reputation: 5789
I'd also consult a local divorce attorney, who knows what sort of support one ex-spouse will be expected to provide to the other. That can have a significant effect on what you choose.
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:48 PM
 
1,213 posts, read 1,354,548 times
Reputation: 1908
Quote:
Originally Posted by mortpes View Post
You should not divorce. It is not your best financial move. You should learn to live together for financial reasons if no other. The focus should be on maintaining the union. You should spend a great deal of time reviewing financial data.
I agree. Is it really that bad after 29 years? You have given your best years to raising children and being a SAHM. At 62, regardless of your husband's social security, are you putting yourself in a situation to HAVE to work for the rest of your life?
Couples live together everyday who can't stand each other.
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