Maybe. You may qualify for social security benefits of your ex-spouse if you meet all of the following requirements:
- Have been married for at least 10 years,
- Be at least 62 years old;
- Unmarried; and
- Your social security record shows that you qualify for lower benefits than what you would receive under your ex-spouse’s benefits.
To receive benefits, you would provide your marriage certificate, divorce decree and proof of age to the Social Security Administration to determine whether receiving benefits under your ex-spouse would be an option. Your ex-spouse is not involved at all with making the determination whether you qualify to receive a higher benefit from his/her benefits. Depending upon when you request these benefits, the Social Security Administration may draw from your benefits first then pull the remaining amount from your ex-spouse’s benefits so that you receive the higher benefit amount.
If you have remarried since your divorce from your ex-spouse, you may still receive benefits if you are no longer married and your subsequent marriage ends by death, divorce, or annulment.
If you qualify to receive benefits under your ex-spouse, it is important to point out that the amount of benefits paid to you will not affect your ex-spouse or his/her current spouse benefits. Therefore, if your ex-spouse has remarried, you may still qualify for his/her social security benefits, if you meet all of the above criteria.
If you have a question whether you qualify for your ex-spouse’s benefits, you can use the Retirement Planner tool on the Social Security Administration’s website found here. If you are approaching retirement age and are able to qualify to receive a higher social security benefit from drawing from your ex-spouse, we encourage you to discuss those options with the Social Security Administration.
At Bond & Botes, we are attorneys providing financial solutions.
Mary Pool is a shareholder of the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Montgomery and Opelika, Alabama. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a Juris Doctorate from Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law. She has represented thousands of clients over her more than 11 years working in the bankruptcy field. Read her full bio here.