Will divorce affect my ex-spousal or child-in-care benefits?

Published: August 23, 2023

Full question: I am 61, and my husband and I have been separated for years. We have a disabled adult daughter, who lives with me. She currently receives the DAC benefit and I receive the spousal child in care benefit. We are going to finally divorce, does the child in care benefit stop, since I am under 62? And, if I claim divorced spousal benefits, when i turn 62, and she is still in my care, are my ex spousal benefits reduced?


You have two great questions.

Will the child in care benefit stop, since I am under 62? No, your child-in-care spousal benefit should not stop if you get divorced.

Will my ex spousal benefits be reduced? Yes, the spousal benefit at age 62 will be subject to reductions below the 50% of your ex-spouse’s PIA if you collect that prior to your FRA. You have the option to continue collecting the child-in-care spousal benefits until your FRA and then switching to normal spousal benefits, which will remain at the 50% of your ex-spouse’s PIA.

Please also be aware of the possibility that the Family Maximum Benefit rule may impact the amount you and your daughter receive. If you are working and younger than your FRA, the Earnings Test limits can cause some or all of your benefits to be withheld. Finally, taxation of the relative benefit income amounts should be evaluated for you and your daughter.

Please reach back out if you would like personalized assistance from our team of RSSAs with these rules.

Take care,

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