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Losing ex-spouse's Social Security benefits likely if remarrying

Do some senior citizens choose not to remarry because they will see a drop in their Social Security benefits? The answer is yes; however, there is not always a decrease in Social Security benefits when someone who is receiving benefits remarries. There are several rules that must be met, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

If you divorcesomeone who worked for at least 10 years, then your ex-spouse should be able to collect Social Security benefits starting at age 62. If they receive benefits, you might qualify, too.

This is where the rules come into play, though, and each situation is different. Your marriage must have been for at least 10 years and you must be at least 62 years old. You usually cannot be married when benefits begin because Social Security benefits are not generally given to someone based on an ex-spouses' work record unless the marriage ended due to annulment, divorce or death. In addition, your Social Security retirement benefits have to be less than the benefit you would get from your ex-spouses' work record.

Trying to determine whether you will lose all, part or none of your Social Security benefits if you divorce or remarry is difficult. It is important to discuss all of these matters with an experienced Colorado divorce attorney. You will learn all of your options, as well as those involving property division and alimony. Your attorney can also advise you on what would happen to alimony payments should you remarry.

HB 1058 is currently on the desk of the Colorado governor, too. This would establish permanent alimony payments for some who are newly divorced who fall into certain income parameters. Proponents say this bill would help women who are often worse off financially after a divorce than men are. Opponents say the bill will create a "financial ball-and-chain" for some people who divorce.

Source:  gazette.com, "Noreen: Losing some benefits is possible" Barry Noreen, May. 08, 2013

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