When the time comes to end a marriage, one spouse may be owed Social Security support during retirement years. That is especially true when one spouse fulfills the role of homemaker and caregiver while the other spouse works and provides income for the entire family. Texas family law places a value on spousal support in single-income homes and allows a spouse to get up to half of their ex’s potential Social Security payouts.
How homemakers earn Social Security support
The federal government created Social Security to help to protect seniors against poverty. A homemaker who does not hold a wage-paying job still makes it possible for their spouse to work and earn income for the entire household. Without that ongoing support at home, the wage-earner could not have lived that same lifestyle and likely could not have earned as much without paying for significant support, like hiring cleaning services and eating out. The support that homemaker spouses provide could earn them a share of Social Security payments in retirement.
Conditions apply for spousal support
When one spouse significantly out-earns the other during a marriage that lasts more than 10 years, the lower-earning spouse is entitled to a portion of the higher-earner’s Social Security payment after divorce, up to 50%. If both spouses worked and earned the same Social Security benefit, though, then the benefit stays untouched by divorce proceedings. A family law attorney may provide details about how benefits are calculated after divorce.
Experienced legal helps ensure correct benefits sharing
While Texas and federal laws say that spouses can earn ongoing Social Security benefits in retirement after divorce, nothing is assured. If you are going through divorce, you may want to hire an experienced family law attorney to make sure your rights are upheld while giving you the best chance at a positive outcome.