Benefitting from an ex-spouses social security

If a couple divorces after ten years or longer of marriage, it is possible for the both spouses to benefit from the increased wage earners social security.

However, there are some requirements to obtain this benefit:

·         The ex-spouse seeking spousal benefits cannot be remarried, unless she remarried after age 60 or the subsequent remarriage ended prior to seeking benefits (It does not matter whether or not the former spouse remarried)

·         She and her former spouse must be over age 62;

·         The divorce must have been finalized more than two years ago or else the former spouse must currently be collecting benefits;

·         The ex-spouse cannot collect both his/her social security and their ex-spouses; you either get 100% of yours of 50% of theirs (although this does not affect the original wage earner from collecting 100% of their social security), whichever amount is higher.

Example of how this might happen: A couple is married from 1983-2000 (17 years) the husband remarries for several years but divorces again.  After he is 62 and elects to take social security, he has the option of collecting 100% of his benefits or 50% or his first wife’s (because the marriage was over 10 years) if it would be higher.  If he would have stayed married over ten years to his second wife before he divorced, he would have had the option of possibly collecting 50% of her social security if it was higher than his.  This does not mean though that people can collect multiple social securities, they can only collect one but they have the option of collecting whatever one has the greatest benefit after they have been married to someone for over ten years.



Leave a Reply