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

UPDATED: Aug 29, 2011

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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