Spousal Social Security Benefits


DIVORCE 911 collaborated with Russ Thornton of Wealthcare for Women for this blog post. 

We have a video covering this topic as well.

Social security benefits are a fairly complicated topic. People are often confused even more when divorce is an added dynamic.  One facet of this is the opportunity for a spouse to receive social security spousal benefits based on their ex spouse’s earnings record.

This can apply to you if you were a stay at home parent or out of the workforce for a long period of time. Another instance could be if you’ve worked throughout the marriage but it was part time or a lower income job. This would lead to the former spouse being eligible for a larger social security benefit.

The next fundamental part of this process to consider is the number of years that you were married. You are required to have been married for 10 or more years to be eligible to receive spousal benefits. Even then, this only applies if the spousal benefits are greater than your own.

To put it simply; if you were married for more than 10 years and half of your former spouse’s social security benefit is greater than your own social security benefit, you get the larger of the two benefits. An example of this would be as follows: Your retirement benefit at the age of 66 is $1000 per month. Your former spouse’s benefit is $2500 per month. If you were married for more than 10 years and got divorced you would be entitled to half of $2500. This would be $1250 and that sum is greater than your current $1000. Please remember… You are eligible for this amount for the rest of your life! This has zero impact on the amount your former spouse receives. If you outlive your former spouse you would go from receiving $1250 a month to the full $2500. Receiving the full $2500 per month would fall under the spousal survivorship benefit.

It’s important to be aware of the rules and the different benefits that may be applicable to your situation. As you can see, spousal social security benefits can play a role in your financial and retirement planning. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the different social security benefits he or she may be entitled to after a divorce.

With so many different rules and regulations, it is easy to be unaware of the ones that can benefit you the most.

DIVORCE 911 is ready to provide you with the right resources and information that you will need.


This information is deemed to be accurate. Reader / User is required to perform their own due diligence with the appropriate professionals. DIVORCE 911 is not a law firm, financial institution or advisor, registered mental health resource, does not practice law, and does not offer legal, financial, or therapeutic advice.

The Lautenberg Amendment

We had a very productive conversation with

Casey Doyle of Shewmaker & Shewmaker for this blog post

We have a video covering this topic as well.

During a divorce, domestic cases often come to the surface. This may occur with one spouse taking out a protective order against the other. This can happen because of a history of conflicts or new developing ones. This is fairly common knowledge. What a lot of people do not know and are unaware of is what a protective order will trigger. The Lautenberg Amendment came about in the mid ‘90’s and was to amend the Gun Control Act of 1968. The 1968 Gun Control Act made it illegal for anyone with a felony conviction to possess, sell, and conceal a firearm.

The Lautenberg Amendment specifies that these gun regulations now apply to anyone with a misdemeanor of family violence, a domestic violence conviction or anyone who is currently subject to a temporary protective order. There are of course some requirements that are called upon for the protective order. The protective order has to have allowed the person an opportunity to be heard in a hearing and it has to be between what is known as “intimate partners”. Intimate partners means either spouses, parents, people that have cohabitated, or people that share a child together.

When the Lautenberg Amendment is triggered this person can not carry or possess a firearm.  It becomes a federal crime if they do so. This applies to anyone that is under a protective order which may include limiting verbiage banning any future contact. This would include but is not limited to harassment, stalking, or violence to the other individual.

The amendment’s purpose is to prevent any kind of future harm from occurring. That’s why when it’s not a felony involved the amendment is limited to either misdemeanor convictions that are dealing with domestic violence or temporary protective orders that are in response to domestic violence. If violated, it is classified as a federal crime. It’s important to understand that this limits the rights of the person that the temporary protective order is taken out against. If it is taken out against you then your rights are limited as well. Also, the right to carry a firearm will be restored after the protective order is dismissed. This is a very complicated subject and domestic violence should never be taken lightly. Be sure to know your rights as some one seeking help or if these charges are being brought against you.

This information is deemed to be accurate. User is required to perform their own due diligence with the appropriate professionals.

DIVORCE 911 is not a Law Firm, Does Not Practice Law, & Can Not Offer Legal Advice