Tempe Family Law Attorney Shares Social Security Secrets

Submitted by Attorney Douglas C. Gardner

In August, I had the opportunity to present a seminar entitled Weathering Divorce with Ron Willoughby, a First Vice President and Wealth Management Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley in Tempe.

Together, we both spoke about various issues facing individuals after a bankruptcy, with my section focusing on the legal issues including modifying and enforcing child support and spousal support, and Mr. Willoughby discussing how to recover financially after a divorce.

One of the issues briefly touched upon was a question I often receive related to the division of social security after a divorce. In short, in cases of a marriage that lasted for at least 10 years, a person that is retiring has the ability to obtain social security benefits based upon the higher of their own income record, or the income record of a spouse (derivative benefits). The spouse does not need to be retired. Additionally, taking the derivative benefits will not increase or decrease the spouses own benefits. In certain cases, if a person has been married to more than one spouse (for at least 10 years in each marriage), they have the right to elect the benefit that is the highest based upon their own income or the income of any of their spouses (to whom they were married at least 10 years).

If you are involved in a divorce, legal separation, or annulment case or other family law case, and if you have determined that you need experienced legal representation, please call 480-733-6800 and ask to speak with Douglas C. Gardner, or visit our website at davismiles.com