Should you worry about missing your spouse's Social Security benefits
divorce? Usually speaking, no. If you are 62 years or older, if you were married
for at least one decade, and if you are currently unmarried, then you
may be able to use your ex's work record in order to get retirement
benefits from Social Security. This is true if you further do not qualify
for more in benefits through your own work record. But then your ex also
has to meet certain requirements before you could collect any benefits.
Your ex would also have to be at least 62 years old and to qualify for
Social Security. You also have to have been divorced for no less than
two years. But he or she does not have to be collecting in order for you
to collect. It also does not matter if your ex is currently married. And
neither would this do anything to change benefits for your ex's current spouse.
Now how much could you still collect through your ex's Social Security?
Generally, you could get as much as 50 percent of their Social Security
benefits, but you would probably get less if they started getting benefits
before they were 66 years old. If you qualify for benefits based on your
own income, then you would get those benefits instead if they are higher.
What happens if you have remarried? You would then be unable to qualify
for your ex's Social Security. Now if you are currently single and
you have divorced twice, with each marriage having lasted more than a
decade, then you could collect benefits from whichever ex has more Social
If your ex has since passed away, and your marriage lasted at least 10
years, then you could qualify for survivor benefits, meaning you could
collect a full 100 percent of your ex's benefits. You might be able
to collect as soon as you are 60 years old, or 50 years old for those
who are disabled. However, if you remarry before you turn 60, you would
be disqualified from these survivor benefits if your marriage does not
end. If you remarry after you turn 60, then you would still qualify for
To get the most out of your available benefits if you are working, you
could submit a restricted application to Social Security once you reach
retirement age. You could then get 50 percent of your ex's Social
Security benefits. Then when you turn 70 years old, these benefits would
stop and you could start collecting your own Social Security benefits,
which would have increased by 32 percent. If you are a divorced widow
or widower, and your ex passes away, you might be able to go from collecting
your benefits to collecting survivor's benefits, if that is an increase.
If you are already collecting survivor's benefits, you could elect
to get your own benefits if that is more as well.
As more and more couples divorce in middle age and beyond, knowing what
post-divorce life holds for retirement is more important than ever. If
you are looking to get divorced later in life, learn more about what a
divorce would mean for your future when you
contact the Meyers Law Group, P.C. Our Long Island divorce lawyer can help you understand your legal rights
and work to protect the retirement funds you have built up over the years
as well. Whenever you are facing a divorce, having the right legal representation
on your side can enable you to face the best future possible.