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How will the recent Social Security changes after my divorce?

While it's true that the legal codes that govern how family law issues are handled in Colorado change on a fairly regular basis, these laws are also influenced by changes made in other areas at both the state and federal levels. One recent example is the changes made to how divorced spouses can handle Social Security and disability benefits.

As part of the changes approved in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 last November, a loophole that allowed divorced spouses to collect spousal benefits while still allowing their own retirement credits to accrue may not longer be available. Under the previous guidelines, divorced spouses were eligible for spousal benefits if they had been married at least 10 years, they had remained unmarried after the divorce and the spousal benefits were more than what they would have been able to get on their own.

One issue with the changes is that the loophole had been exploited for so long that many people had planned their retirements and timing of their divorces around these laws. When major changes like this happen, it's critical to discuss your situation with a family law attorney so you can find out how the changes will affect you and whether you have any other options to protect your financial interests.

Getting up-to-date legal advice from a family law professional is an important part of setting yourself up for a successful divorce. Doing so also increases the chances that you will get a fair settlement and remain financially stable after the divorce has been finalized in the courts.

Source: East Idaho News, "Major social security change reduces benefits for couples, divorced individuals," Flint Stephens, Jan. 30, 2016

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