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Common-law Relationships and Social Security

It’s no secret that more young Americans are choosing to “co-habit” in long term relationships, with about half of couples now eschewing legal marriage. Although this is a cultural phenomenon, the laws providing certain financial advantages offered to married couples haven’t changed, especially and specifically as relates to Social Security. Social Security’s rules require a couple to be legally married to be eligible for spousal and survivor benefits, but those rules stipulate that Social Security goes by state rules when it comes to defining “marriage.”  Thus the state in which a couple resides, or in which their relationship was established, may very well determine eligibility for Social Security spousal or survivor benefits, as discussed in this Parade article by Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz. Click here to read more.

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