Ask Larry

Do You Know Of Anyone Who Has Successfully Changed Their Divorce Decree Based On The New SS Rules?

I am 61 and was divorced before the change requiring 'deemed filing' of spousal SS benefits. My divorce decree was obviously written based on the old law. It says at age 62 I am required to file for spousal benefits based on my ex's earnings. My alimony will be reduced by this amount. Then when I turn 70 alimony will be stopped altogether. Clearly the thinking at the time was that my SS benefits would accrue till I started taking my own at age 70 and that the extra SS accrual would replace the alimony. Under the new law my benefits will be permanently slashed and at age 70 I will be destitute. Can you point me to anyone who has successfully had the divorce decree changed to reflect the new SS rules?


Sorry, but no. I'm not a lawyer so I have no idea whether or not you might be able to successfully change the terms of your divorce decree.

For your information, though, even under the old law you couldn't have filed just for divorced spousal benefits at age 62 without also being deemed to file for retirement benefits on your own record. You would have had to wait until your full retirement age to apply for just divorced spousal benefits without also being deemed to file your retirement benefits. Under the new law, however, since you were born after January 1 1954 you will be deemed to file for both retirement and divorced spousal benefits whenever you file for either benefit (

Best, Jerry

Oct 18 2017 - 7:16am
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