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In NY can an ex-husband's Social Security (SSI) be garnished for post-marital maintenance?

Huntington, NY |

I will soon be able to receive SSI from Social Security - but I'm not required to do so. My wife has threatened that if I start to receive social security, she'll get an income execution to garnish those payments. Is that allowed in New York? And as a purely practical consideration, is it even possible for her to find out when I start to receive social security? (She's already receiving SSI benefits on her own account)

Thank you.

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Attorney answers 2


The answer is no. Social Security payments are exempt from levy or garnishment. However, if you put them in a bank account with other income or savings then you may not be able to claim the exemption. If you have debts to your x or others, open a checking account into which you only but the social security. You may need to speak with an attorney regardng your financial situation to get advice and do planning.

The answer given is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Dwight Bowen is a bankruptcy and consumer attorney and may be contacted at (404) 880-3310.


Absolutely not, as long as you do not co-mingle funds with other income. The only garnishments against your SSI would be for child support payments, as those have been elevated to a higher level.

SS records are private. The only way she would receive that information is if you tell her or she files suit and your attorney squashes the proceedings by the revelation.

You may what to discontinue conversations with her if she does not have your best interests at heart.