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Stop, Look & Listen: Railroad Retirement Benefits Q&A

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Benefits for Second Divorced Spouse and Young Child

(Posted September 21, 2004)

Question 518: My husband will retire in 3 years at age 60 with 38 years of service for the railroad. His first wife is to receive 100% of his Tier 2. We have a 7 year old child. I am 45. We will have been married 10 years in 10 weeks. I am seeking a divorce. Will our child be entitled to a benefit after my husband;s retirement? Also is the 10 year requirement on marriage determined on the final divorce decree or the date we separate?

Answer: The 10 year duration of marriage requirment for a Divorced Spouse Benefit is measured from the marriage date through the date the divorce becomes final.

Your child, who will be about 10 when your husband retires, cannot get direct benefits under Railroad Retirement. However, your husband's benefit could be increased under the Special Minimum Guaranty formula by including the child in the calculation. The increased amount would be paid until the child is 18.

The RRB may, under certaint circumstances, split your husband's benefit and pay the additional amount to you on behalf of your child, if family circumstances warrant. This would be something to discuss with your attorney before the divorce becomes final. Your attorney might wish to consult the Railroad Retirement Board to see if separate payments are possible.

Important notice:

Answers are provided as general guidance on the subjects covered in the question and are not provided as legal advice to the questioner or to readers. Any legal issues should be reviewed by your legal counsel to apply the law to the particular facts of this and similar situations.

The law in this area changes frequently. Answers are believed to be correct as of the posting dates shown. The completeness or accuracy of a particular answer may be affected by changes in the law (statutes, regulations, rulings, court decisions, etc.) that occur after the date on which a particular Q&A is posted.

Copyright 1997-2017 Robert S. Kaufman
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