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A short background on all this.  One of my relatives is a widow who remarried several years ago.  Now she is in the process of getting divorced from that marriage.  She is under the impression that once the divorce is finalized, she can then claim spousal death benefits on her first husband.  This sounded a little odd to me, so I did a bit of digging and this is all I found:

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/onyourown5.html#other

If you click on 'If they remarry', it says this:
[S=https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/onyourown5.html#other said: If]https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/onyourown5.html#other]If[/S] your widow, widower or surviving divorced spouse remarries before they reach age 60 (age 50 if disabled), they cannot receive benefits as a surviving spouse while they're married.

If your widow, widower or surviving divorced spouse remarries after they reach age 60 (age 50 if disabled), they will continue to qualify for benefits on your Social Security record.

However, if their current spouse is a Social Security beneficiary, they may want to apply for spouse's benefits on their record. If that amount is more than the widow's or widower's benefit on your record, they will receive a combination of benefits that equals the higher amount.


In this case she has not reached age 60 yet. 

I have always been under the impression that if are a widow or widower, you are eligible to receive spousal death benefits.  Once you remarry though, then you lose all rights to that claim.  Does anyone have more detailed info on if this is even allowed because apparently she's getting info from the divorce attorney.  It sounds a little shady to me but I'm no expert.
 

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rated:
if your widow, widower or surviving divorced spouse remarries before they reach age 60 (age 50 if disabled), they cannot receive benefits as a surviving spouse while they're married.

Doesn't that mean that after they're divorced, they can receive benefits as a surviving spouse?

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FrankDooley said:   In this case she has not reached age 60 yet

Is she disabled? If not, she's not getting anything from any of the prior marriages until she's 60. You should change the subject line. She's getting a divorce and that changes everything.

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Learned something new.  If one were married multiple times, in certain situations one can collect benefits from multiple ex-spouses.

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mapen said:   in certain situations one can collect benefits from multiple ex-spouses.

Not exactly. You get benefits from ONE of your expouses, not all or a combination. You just pick the one that does you the most good.
  

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Chyvan said:   
mapen said:   in certain situations one can collect benefits from multiple ex-spouses.

Not exactly. You get benefits from ONE of your expouses, not all or a combination. You just pick the one that does you the most good.
  

  Marriage and Divorce for Fun and Profit? 

How to game the system: Have one person with a high income marry and divorce several people, earning a fee from those people along the way. However, I'm sure there is some catch to all of this. 

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samko said:   
Marriage and Divorce for Fun and Profit?

How to game the system: Have one person with a high income marry and divorce several people, earning a fee from those people along the way. However, I'm sure there is some catch to all of this.


The catch is, the high income person better make damn sure all of their prenups are absolutely rock solid. That, and you need to be married 10 years before getting social security spousal benefits. So it's still technically workable for someone who intends to never marry, but the risk over that amount of time would be huge. Anything you earn after the marriage wouldn't be covered by the prenup. Plus in those 10 years, presumably you'd want to be banging some chicks now and then, so you'd have to be certain no laws could invalidate your prenup for "infidelity".
  

 

rated:
samko said:   
Chyvan said:   
mapen said:   in certain situations one can collect benefits from multiple ex-spouses.

Not exactly. You get benefits from ONE of your expouses, not all or a combination. You just pick the one that does you the most good.
  

  Marriage and Divorce for Fun and Profit? 

How to game the system: Have one person with a high income marry and divorce several people, earning a fee from those people along the way. However, I'm sure there is some catch to all of this. 

  All the potential downsides for the high-income person really lower the incentive to do any of this. You'd have to marry for 10 years and divorce. Meaning 7 out of every 10 years of your life, you have a divorce damaging your credit report. Not to mention how you could be affected by messes they make to your credit history while married for 10 years.

You'll need to draft really good prenups to not lose money in each divorce, and probably even better divorce agreements to get the divorcees to pay you anything because by the time they collect on those SS benefits, most will have been divorced for a while and could just tell you to pound sand.

For high-income men, if your "pseudo wives" have kids while married to you, in most states, you'd be the legal father of that child regardless of whether you're the biological father or not. You can revoke paternity at the divorce but this is less likely to be granted the longer you wait. Meanwhile you'd have to support the child until the end of the agreed 10-years of marriage.

And all these will have to outweigh the costs of lawyer fees for divorces, prenup agreements, child support issues, and possibly money collection efforts. Considering the nominal fees that are likely to be generated by the time you've done this maybe 4 times, this may not be as lucrative as you'd think lol.

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