Family Law

Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Family Law
This answer was rated:

Unsure if correct forum however... My mom was married to my

father 10+ years. He is...
Unsure if correct forum however... My mom was married to my father 10+ years. He is deceased now but had re-married (2nd wife is still living), my mom never re-married. She is unable to locate her divorce decree but has her marriage certificate. Is she entitled to a portion of his SSi. pension...
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Answered in 4 hours by:
11/1/2009
Lawrence D. Gorin
Lawrence D. Gorin, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,544
Experience: 30+ years family law experience. QDROs, UIFSA, UCCJEA expertise.
Verified
YOUR QUESTION:
Unsure if correct forum however... My mom was married to my father 10+ years. He is deceased now but had re-married (2nd wife is still living), my mom never re-married. She is unable to locate her divorce decree but has her marriage certificate. Is she entitled to a portion of his SSi. pension...

ANSWER:
FIRST, as to Social Security retirement benefits......

No, your mother is not entitled to a port of his Social Security pension, since he is no longer getting it (stopped upon his death). HOWEVER, if she meets the eligibility requirements, she may be able to receive a “surviving divorced spouse’s benefit” from Social Security, which would provide her with benefits just the same as a widow or widower, provided that she was married to the deceased worker for at least 10 years.

Here’s the full explanation:

If you are divorced AND your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you can receive benefits on your ex-spouse’s record (even if he or she has remarried), but only if:
** You are unmarried;
** You are age 62 or older;
** The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work; and
** Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits.

If you remarry, you generally cannot collect benefits on your former spouse’s record unless your later marriage ends (whether by death, divorce or annulment).

If your ex-spouse has not applied for retirement benefits, but can qualify for them, you can receive benefits on his or her record if you have been divorced for at least two years.

If you are eligible for retirement benefits on your own record, Social Security will pay that amount first. HOWEVER, if the benefit on your former spouse’s record is a higher amount, you will get a combination of benefits that equals that higher amount (reduced for age).

Further, if you have reached full retirement age and you are eligible for a spouse’s benefit and your own retirement benefit, you will be allowed to choose to receive only the divorced spouse’s benefits now and delay receiving retirement benefits until a later date. If retirement benefits are delayed, a higher benefit may be received at a later date based on the effect of delayed retirement credits.

More info at:
http://www.womansdivorce.com/divorce-and-social-security.html
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/divspouse.htm
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/survivorplan/ifyou2.htm
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/survivorplan/howtoapply3.htm


SECOND, as the proof of divorce.....
Start by asking your mom whether she is the one who filed for divorce from her husband, or was it her husband who filed for divorce from her. If husband is the one who filed the divorced case, most likely it was in MI, since that is the state in which he was residing

If your father resided in MI at the time of divorce and your mom lived in VA, their divorce most likely occurred in one of those two states. In every state in the nation, when a divorce decree in entered in a court record, the clerk of the court sends a notification form to the state’s Vital Records agency (the same people who deal with birth certificates and death records). So you need to check the Vital Records agencies of MI and VA and see what turns up.

For Michigan Vital Records:
http://www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,1607,7-132-4645---,00.html

For Virgnia Vital Records:
http://www.vdh.state.va.us/Vital_Records/index.htm


Your mother may need some or all of the following documents when applying for Social Security benefits:
Proof of former husband’s death (either from funeral home or death certificate).
Her own birth certificate.
Her marriage certificate.
Her divorce papers.

For Social Security application purposes, public records such as birth certificates and marriage or divorce records must be the originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. Social Security will not accept uncertified photocopies. But the certified documents will be return to the applicant.

Even if your mom does not presently have all of the needed documents, she should contact her nearest Social Security office anyway and not delay signing up for Social Security. In many cases, the local Social Security office may be able to contact the Vital Records agency and verify the needed info online at no cost to the applicant. And if they cannot verify the information online, they can still help by providing more info as to where and how to get the needed records.

================================
If your question has been satisfactorily answered, please acknowledge by clicking the green “ACCEPT” button in the upper right hand corner of your screen. After you have accepted, your question will remain open for further dialogue if needed to clarify or elaborate. Also, your FEEDBACK comments are helpful and important, so please be sure to add a few words as requested. And I thank you in advance. http://ldgorin.justia.net/index.html
Lawrence D. Gorin
Lawrence D. Gorin, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,544
Experience: 30+ years family law experience. QDROs, UIFSA, UCCJEA expertise.
Verified
Lawrence D. Gorin and 87 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 8 years ago

 

The information received will help me expedite assisting my mother. Thanks for the time taken!!

Thank you for your kind words. Glad to have been of assistance. Wish you well. And, also, thank you for bonus payment. Much appreciated.
Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Ask Lawrence D. Gorin Your Own Question
Lawrence D. Gorin
Lawrence D. Gorin
Lawrence D. Gorin, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,544
1,544 Satisfied Customers
Experience: 30+ years family law experience. QDROs, UIFSA, UCCJEA expertise.

Lawrence D. Gorin is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it.

LeeMichigan

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

11,875 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

LawTalk

LawTalk

Attorney and Counselor at Law

9,025 satisfied customers

30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

7,856 satisfied customers

I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

6,562 satisfied customers

JD, 17 years legal experience including family law

Barrister

Barrister

Lawyer

3,415 satisfied customers

Attorney with 17 years experience

P. Simmons

P. Simmons

Lawyer

3,398 satisfied customers

16 yrs. of experience including family law.

RobertJDFL

RobertJDFL

Lawyer

2,787 satisfied customers

Experienced in multiple areas of the law.

< Previous | Next >

Related Family Law Questions
I am a mother of three and filed for divorce two years ago.
Hello, I am a mother of three and filed for divorce two years ago. My former spouse has two counts of domestic violence and no one has resolved my case in Grays Harbor County, WA. My former spouse con… read more
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Juris Doctorate
1,731 satisfied customers
If a business came into marriage is it part of the divorce
If a business came into marriage is it part of the divorce ownership n name never changed at marriage … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
7,307 satisfied customers
Are 2 witnesses required for a marriage to be valid in
Are 2 witnesses required for a marriage to be valid in Florida? … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,828 satisfied customers
Are the terms of an overseas marriage recognized in the us?
Are the terms of an overseas marriage recognized in the us? … read more
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Juris Doctor
28,688 satisfied customers
Gm does dissolution with minor children where no marriage is
Gm does dissolution with minor children where no marriage is involved with the mother or father mean that the mother is divorce from her minor children … read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
28,100 satisfied customers
My wife and I are getting a divorce. Her mother bought some
My wife and I are getting a divorce. Her mother bought some property and home for her brother and had us sign the deed in case of anything happening the property would come to us. The paper we sign wa… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
3,415 satisfied customers
I would like to know what the commonlaw marriage divorce
I would like to know what the commonlaw marriage divorce rights are in Colorado. I have proof of commonlaw marriage. My husband pays for the house and my car. How will this affect my rights? … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I am a divorced mother living in Carroll County, Illinois. I
I am a divorced mother living in Carroll County, Illinois. I have sole psychical and legal custody. Do I need to give my ex-husband a notice of relocation if I want to move to Minnesota to pursue a hi… read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
28,100 satisfied customers
After seven years of marriage and a may be divorce I would
After seven years of marriage and a may be divorce I would like to know what amount of alimony might be due. … read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
28,100 satisfied customers
My mother in law found out 2 months ago that the divorce
My mother in law found out 2 months ago that the divorce papers her ex husband signed 5 years ago was expired and for that reason they were still married all those years without knowing, he already go… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,828 satisfied customers
I marriage a divorce man few years ago. I am now ready to
I marriage a divorce man few years ago . I am now ready to marriage again, but when I applied for my marriage license they told me that my first husband divorce was n't finalize ,that I had marriage a… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
7,307 satisfied customers
I filed for divorce. I'm in a same sex marriage. If he
I filed for divorce. I'm in a same sex marriage. If he doesn't sign the waiver but doesn't show up for the final court date or he doesn't sign the final decree, will I still be granted the divorce? I … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
In california divorced 5 years, term marriage my alimony is
In california divorced 5 years, long term marriage my alimony is higher than child support … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
7,307 satisfied customers
I am divorced but in a family law court over marriage
I am divorced but in a family law court over marriage settlement of property. At each hearing the judge has made decisions and ordered me to pay more alimony, more fees for the opposing side and not o… read more
Maverick
Maverick
Doctoral Degree
6,134 satisfied customers
Getting CA divorce after 14 years of blissful marriage.:) We
Getting CA divorce after 14 years of blissful marriage.:) We have 6 cars and a house. How do we value them for the courts? House is unique property. How do we value the house without having to pay for… read more
Roger
Roger
Litigation Attorney
Doctoral Degree
26,865 satisfied customers
I want to find a lawyer whose field in marriage and divorce.
I want to find a lawyer whose field in marriage and divorce … read more
socrateaser
socrateaser
1,031 satisfied customers
Divorcing a cheater! Wife owned home prior to marriage.
Hi, divorcing a cheater! Wife owned home prior to marriage. Refi's to lower rate and reduce term of mortgage. Cheaters income used to qualify for shorter term, 5 years older and retirement planning. … read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
The divorce is happening in FL. During the marriage I was
The divorce is happening in FL. During the marriage I was awarded a settlement regarding a lawyer not filing dental damage, pain and suffering of 79,000. My spouse asked for a divorce 6 years later. T… read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
10,647 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x