If you are getting divorced in Texas, most of your community property estates that were earned during marriage will be split 50-50 between you and your ex. Social Security benefits, on the other hand, are only available to spouses who were married for at least 10 years. Shared benefits are also only available to the spouse who has fewer of his or her own benefits, and they are not available to individuals who remarried and are still married.
Other restrictions on receiving an ex-spouse’s SS funds
Everyone must wait until the age of 62 before SS benefits can start being withdrawn. Even then, a person will not receive all benefits available if the benefits are taken out before full retirement age, which is 66 or 67 depending on date of birth. If a divorce has not been final for at least two years, the person seeking benefits must wait until the two-year mark or until the ex-spouse begins withdrawing SS benefits for himself or herself.
The most that anyone can receive in benefits from an ex is 50%. If 50% of the ex-spouse’s benefits does not exceed a person’s own SS benefits, that person will not be entitled to any of the ex-spouse’s benefits. If you meet all of the above conditions, the amount of SS benefits that you receive will generally be equal to 50% of your ex’s benefits. This total benefits amount will not come from your ex; rather, you will withdraw a portion from your own benefits first and then supplement the rest with a portion of your ex’s benefits.
For example, if your monthly benefit amount is $400 and your ex’s benefit amount is $1,000, you would be entitled to $500 per month, assuming you are entitled to 50% of your ex’s benefits. You would first get a check for $400 from your account and then a supplemental check of $100 in divorce benefits. Since every little bit counts when you are retired, it may be a good idea to consult with a family law attorney before you discuss benefits with your ex. An attorney may advise you about the steps to take to ensure that you can financially support yourself after the split.