W was confined in Z State Hospital for her mental illnesses. The hospital filled for divorced spouse’s benefits on behalf of W.
The evidence showed that W’s husband, R, was awarded an annulment of their 20 year marriage in 1949. The grounds for the annulment was W’s incurable insanity, which had existed for five years. In the annulment decree, R was ordered to pay a reasonable monthly sum for W’s support and maintenance (i.e., alimony).
Whereas an annulment often has the legal effect of rendering the marriage void ab initio (from the beginning), this particular annulment more closely resembled a typical divorce decree. Therefore, the decree could properly be characterized as a divorce a vinculo matrimonii (a divorce from the “chains of marriage”, or a complete dissolution of the husband/wife relationship).
Because a marriage had existed and was terminated after W had been R’s wife for the requisite period of time (at the time 20 years, though this requirement has been reduced to 10 years), she was entitled to divorced spouse’s social security benefits.
See Social Security Ruling (SSR) 69-1.
This material should not be construed as legal advice for any particular fact situation but is intended for general informational purposes only. For advice specific to any individual situation, an experienced attorney should be contacted
When it comes the family law and social security disability, each client and case is different. It is also important to select an attorney with the experience, skills and professionalism required to address your legal issues. To learn more, contact the Salt Lake City law offices of Melvin A. Cook and schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.