Questions About Social Security

My career was raising the kids. My attorney mentioned I would be entitled to Social Security benefits via my ex-husband's record. How does this work?

If you are age 62, unmarried, and divorced from someone entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits, you may be eligible to receive benefits based on his or her record. There are other rules, of course. You must have been married to your ex-spouse for 10 years or more. If you've remarried, you can't collect benefits on your former spouse's record unless your later marriage ended by annulment, divorce, or death. Also, if you're entitled to benefits on your own record, your benefit amount must be less than you would receive based on your ex-spouse's work. In other words, we'll pay the higher of the two benefits for which you're eligible, but not both.

You can apply for benefits on your former spouse's record even if he or she hasn't retired, as long as you have been divorced at least two years before applying. After you reach full retirement age, you can elect to receive only the divorced spouse benefits and delay benefits on your own record, which may mean a higher monthly amount for you. If you decide to wait until full retirement age to apply as a divorced spouse, your benefit will be equal to half of your ex-spouse's full retirement or disability benefit amount.

If my ex-spouse remarries, will I still qualify for one-half of his Social Security benefits?

If you are divorced, but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you can receive benefits on your ex-spouse's record (even if he or she has 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.

Will I still be able to receive one-half of my ex-spouse's Social Security benefits if I remarry?

If you remarry, you generally cannot collect benefits on your former spouse's record unless your later marriage ends (whether by death, divorce or annulment).

Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Missouri and Illinois Today

If you are going through a divorce matter and have questions about your social security in the process, we can help. Contact Stange Law Firm, PC online or by calling us at one of our locations throughout Missouri and Illinois.