There may be negative emotions felt by North Carolina residents and others who have gotten divorced. However, there may be one positive for those who were married for 10 years or longer. That positive is the ability to potentially claim Social Security benefits based on a former spouse's work record.
It is generally acceptable for an individual to claim a benefit from a former spouse's work record even if that former spouse has remarried. Doing so has no impact on his or her ability to collect benefits. However, the same rules apply as it relates to how long the original marriage lasted as well as the applicant remaining single. It may also be possible to collect benefits even if the former spouse has not yet applied.
In such a scenario, the former spouse must be eligible to apply for benefits at the time an applicant applies for benefits based on that person's work record. This generally means that the former spouse must be at least 62 when asking for benefits, and the applicant must also be at least 62 to apply. Furthermore, an application cannot take place until at least two years after the divorce took place.
Social security benefits may just be one type of financial support to which an individual may be entitled after a divorce. It may also be possible to obtain a portion of a 401k or other retirement account funds in the asset division process. If a spouse receives a pension or other benefits, an individual may be entitled to a portion of those benefits as well as part of a divorce settlement. An attorney may be helpful when determining how to obtain assets.