Minnesota couples who get a divorce may discover that the process can have a significant effect on their finances, including any Social Security benefits they may receive. It is important to understand the policies the Social Security Administration has in place for divorced partners and spousal benefits.

The SSA will typically continue to take into account the work records of a person’s former spouse. This means that divorcees are likely to receive spousal benefits that are calculated based on the work histories of their former spouses. However, many conditions have to be met before one receives spousal benefits in this manner.

The length of the marriage must have been at least 10 years, and the person seeking spousal benefits based on an ex-spouse’s work history must have remained single after the divorce. If the person remarries and the end of that marriage is the result of divorce, death or an annulment, the work record of the original ex-spouse may still be considered when determining spousal benefits. If the ex-spouse remarried and the other ex-spouse who is seeking spousal benefits remained single, the spousal benefits will not impact the Social Security benefits that are collected by the remarried ex-spouse and the new spouse.

It is not necessary for the ex-spouse to apply for their benefits in order for spousal benefits to be issued based on their work record. However, the ex-spouse must qualify for their own benefits by being at least 62 years old and having a work record that make them eligible to receive benefits.

An attorney who practices family law may assist clients with maintaining ownership of certain financial assets. The attorney may protect the interests and rights of clients during litigation and negotiation procedures pertaining to the division of property and other assets during a high-asset divorce.