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Are Social Security benefits divisible in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2024 | Family Law |

Divorce brings about numerous complexities, and one common concern is the division of assets. A common question that arises is concerning the division of Social Security benefits.

Since Minnesota operates under the principle of equitable distribution, it means a fair division of marital assets. Typically, this includes earnings or assets coming in during the marriage. However, when it comes to Social Security benefits, the rules are slightly different.

The basic rule

In a divorce, a court cannot divide Social security benefits directly. Social security benefits are separate property that belong solely to the individual who earned them.

The influence

While the benefits themselves are off-limits for division, the court may consider the total financial picture when determining alimony or spousal support. Social Security benefits could help in securing spousal support payments. If one spouse’s income, including the benefits, significantly surpasses the other’s, the court might take this disparity into account. It may help the court determine whether to award support and play a role in establishing a fair and reasonable payment.

These benefits could also have an impact in other areas, such as child support determinations. It could play a part in the overall division of assets as well. The benefits are part of the overall value of the earning spouse’s net worth, which impacts the comparison between spouses when the court is dividing assets.

For individuals going through a divorce in Minnesota, it helps to be aware of the specific rules and considerations surrounding Social Security benefits. Knowing how they may impact a divorce settlement can be beneficial in achieving a fair resolution.