Can I Receive Social Security Benefits From My Ex-Spouse After Divorce?
In some circumstances, the answer is YES!
Per the Social Security Administration – If you are divorced, but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, YOU CAN receive benefits on your ex-spouse’s record (even if they have remarried) if:
- You are unmarried
- You are age 62 or older
- Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits; and
- The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work
Additionally, your former spouse doesn’t have to be collecting their retirement benefits yet for you to claim ex-spousal benefits. However, if this is the case, the divorce must be at least two years old. (There is no such requirement if your ex is already receiving benefits.)
The most you can collect in divorced-spouse benefits is 50 percent of your former spouse’s primary amount — the monthly payment he or she is entitled to at full retirement age (currently 66 but gradually rising to 67 over the next several years). You can get that maximum if you file for benefits when you reach full retirement age, if you claim earlier, the benefit amount is reduced.
The earliest you can apply is three months before your sixty-second birthday. You may need to provide documents to show eligibility, including proof of U.S. citizenship or legal immigration status, a marriage certificate, and a divorce decree.
**If you are already receiving retirement benefits on your own, you can also claim any ex-spousal benefits that you are eligible for, but Social Security will not pay you both combined. You’ll receive whichever amount is higher and no more.
To learn more, please contact our divorce and family law attorneys for help!