Ifmy divorce decree states that I am not eligible for retirement benefits, does that include Social Security?

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Ifmy divorce decree states that I am not eligible for retirement benefits, does that include Social Security?

Married for 25 years.

Asked on August 29, 2011 Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, a divorce decree cannot affect your entitlement to national or state programs or benefits, such as  Social Security (or SSI; or state disability; or food stamps; or housing assistance; etc.) No private citizen or agreement wiith a private citizen, or even court order in a divorce case, can strip away your right to those things you are entitled to as a citizen and/or taxpayer.

What this means is that you are not entitled to a share of any pension your now-ex-spouse may receive, or a share of any 401(k) or IRA, or to other benefits (like company paid health care in retirement) to which your former spouse may be entitled. This may be significant, but you will still, at least, be able to get Social Security (and Medicare).


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