What happens when one party dies while the divorce is pending? That may sound like a strange question, but it does happen.

The divorce action ends by operation of law. The remaining, living party is now a widow or widower. As such, he/she and any children of the marriage may be eligible for Social Security survivor’s benefits. There may be other benefits available through a union or the deceased spouse’s employment. The surviving spouse should contact the nearest Social Security office, the HR Department at the deceased spouse’s place of business, and any union representative.

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