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Social Security Can Be Divided as an Asset in a Divorce



Social Security Can Be Divided as an Asset in a Divorce

Social Security Can Be Divided as an Asset in a Divorce. I have opted to handle my divorce proceedings without legal representation due to my proficiency with numbers, and the fact that, in my case, the issues primarily revolve around financial matters. Since our children are grown, the complexities of parenting are not a factor in our divorce proceedings.

We have exchanged financial statements, and my husband’s lawyer has drafted an agreement for me to sign, asserting an equal division of assets. However, I disagree with this claim.

Unequal Treatment of Social Security in Asset Division

One significant point of contention is the exclusion of the value of my husband’s Social Security in the asset division. Notably, I chose not to hire a lawyer but did enlist someone to assess the value of our Social Security benefits.

The evaluation revealed that my husband’s Social Security benefits are significantly larger than mine, primarily due to his higher-earning job and the fact that I transitioned to a teaching career a decade ago, thereby ceasing contributions to the Social Security system.

Ensuring Adequate Retirement Assets

Considering the vast difference in Social Security values, I am concerned about securing enough assets for a comfortable retirement. While my husband envisions a plan of purchasing a condo on the Mediterranean, I believe I should have similar financial capabilities.

Advocating for Fairness in Asset Division

In a lengthy marriage, equitable asset division is crucial. My challenge now is to persuade my husband to acknowledge the fairness of including his Social Security value in the overall asset distribution.

Addressing Misconceptions about Social Security in Divorce

Despite my decision to represent myself, it’s evident that I may lack a comprehensive understanding of certain crucial aspects. One such misunderstanding pertains to the categorization of Social Security as an asset subject to division in a divorce.

Social Security as an Entitlement Not an Asset

First and foremost, Social Security is not considered an asset to be divided in divorce proceedings. It is an entitlement designed for those who have contributed to the system. Moreover, the future stability and duration of Social Security benefits remain uncertain.

Electing Social Security Benefits Post-Divorce

Upon reaching the age of Social Security eligibility, provided the marriage lasted for more than ten years, individuals have the option to choose either their own benefits or half of their ex-spouse’s benefits. This flexibility allows for a fair distribution based on individual circumstances.

Considerations for a Fair Assessment

For those who perceive the exclusion of Social Security from asset division as unfair, it is advisable to crunch the numbers. By assuming half of the ex-spouse’s Social Security, especially considering the longer life expectancy of women, the overall benefits may appear more equitable. If dissatisfaction persists, seeking legal counsel becomes a prudent course of action.


While handling a divorce without legal representation may seem cost-effective, overlooking key aspects such as the nature of Social Security can impact fairness in asset division. Seeking professional guidance ensures a comprehensive and equitable resolution for both parties.

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