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How is Social Security Divided after Divorce. Does each party get 50%

Arvada, CO |

My wife who is disabled as has not worked enough for social security benefits is divorcing me. When she and I reach retirement age, how is my social security, which she can claim on, distributed. Does each party get the full amount?, meaning the Govt would pay twice as much, or is it divided 50/50. I expect it is the latter, but I need to be sure about this. Also, if it is the former, when retirement age is reached, could I make a legal agreement now to give her my half then, in exchange for a better settlement now. I was told in a recent post that it can't be legally transferred as such, but maybe it can be done this way.


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Attorney answers 4


Divorce courts have no authority whatsoever over any kind of Social Security benefits. When you retire, you will get whatever benefits you have "earned" according to federal law at the time of your retirement. Her "making a claim" on your benefits does not reduce your benefits. This answer is provided as general information about a legal issue, is not legal advice specific to a particular case, and does not create a lawyer-client relationship with the person asking the question.

David Littman

David Littman


You don't lose anything you are entitled to. She gets 1/2 of your entitlement if she does not remarry first. The receipt of social security, while not divisible, is an economic circumstance of marriage.


You need competent experienced representation in your divorce. As caring and knowledgeable as are the volunteer attorneys on Avvo, we can only provide general information about the law and legal procedure, which we did for you earlier. I thought I explained clearly that your rights are not transferrable to anyone else, and an ex-spouse who has been married to you not less than ten years has a right to benefits on your account upon reaching a certain age. This public forum is ill-suited to advising strategy in a specific case. What you can do in the way of a settlement agreement with your wife, and what you should do, are proper topics for advice from local counsel.

Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.



Thanks I understand this fully now. I'm not American so it's a bit new for me.


If the practice area is changes to family law, you may get more responses.

The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.


Contact your local social security office for the straight scoop.

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