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Social Security benefits from a former spouse's record

Because Social Security benefits are not affected by property division during a divorce, a Texas resident might dismiss any thoughts of having a right to spousal benefits later on. However, spousal benefits may be accessed as early as age 62 if one's marriage lasted for 10 years or longer. Although this benefit might be available at that time, it may be wise to delay claiming it until full retirement age has been reached.

An individual who expects to continue in employment until at least full retirement age could deal with a lower benefit if they exceed the maximum earnings limit of nearly $16,000 while claiming on a spousal Social Security account. At full retirement age, the withholding does not kick in until a maximum earnings limit of nearly $42,000 has been reached. Although some might not earn enough to reach this point of benefits withholding, those with jobs that allow them to earn in excess of the limits may benefit from waiting to initiate a claim.

Those whose benefits on their own records would be less than spousal benefits might find that it is beneficial to continue claiming on the other party's account until reaching age 70, at which point their own benefits reach their maximum levels. Benefits are increased by 8 percent for every year they are not claimed after reaching full retirement age, but this increase does not continue after age 70. These decisions have no impact on the benefits received by the other party.

During a complex divorce, financial matters can be confusing. However, legal guidance may be helpful for ensuring that retirement accounts and other assets are brought into consideration. Because Social Security benefits are not dependent on divorce settlements or judgments, an individual does not need to worry about this issue during the proceedings.

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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Attorney Bruce Turner is located in Dallas and represents people and businesses throughout DFW and the Metroplex, including Denton, Carrollton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Farmers Branch, Irving, Las Colinas, Corinth, Highland Village, The Colony, Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, Garland and Grapevine as well as Collin County, Denton County and Dallas County in Texas.

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