Social Security Benefits

The Social Security Act contains an anti-assignment clause that prohibits assignment of benefits even in a divorce.  Therefore a divorce court cannot order distribution of part of a spouse’s future retirement social security benefits as marital property.  Nor may the court consider it as an indirect offset as part of the overall marital property distribution to account for the value fo the spouse’s social security benefit.  Likewise a settlement agreement that provides for distribution of future social security benefits is void as it violates the anti-assignment clause of the act. Therefore, a court in a  divorce case may not adopt or approve any such agreement that includes division of social security benefits, considers such benefit as an offset, or using any accounting method that includes such benefits as part of the value of the overall marital estate.  Contact a divorce mediator at Divorce Help Center to assist you in evaluating your situation.