August 20, 2013

Question: What Rights Does a Divorced Person Have…

Categories: DivorceMoney and Finances

security benefits

Question: What rights does a divorced person have… regarding their former spouse’s social security benefits?

A: Under certain conditions, divorced persons may have the same rights based on the former spouse’s social security earnings as they’d have if they hadn’t divorced.

The Social Security website provides valuable information.

If you are divorced, you can receive benefits based on your ex-spouse’s record (even if the ex-spouse has remarried) if:

  • The marriage lasted 10 years or longer.
  • You are unmarried.
  • You are age 62 or older.
  • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits.
  • The benefit that 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.
  • Your ex-spouse has not applied for retirement benefits, but can qualify for them, you can receive benefits on your record if you have been divorced for at least two years.

If you qualify, you can consider the various options.

Also, if your ex-spouse dies before you do, under certain conditions, you may be able to receive 100% of your ex-spouse’s benefit.  If you have minor children by your ex-spouse, they are entitled to benefits as well.

Mary Antonia WilmesABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mary Antonia Wilmes

Mary Antonia Wilmes’ career has been centered on families. She has been an attorney handling family law cases since 1985, has mediated family cases since 1993, and has handled collaborative cases since 2003. She is the mother of two and grandmother of six. Both Mary’s family and her clients continue to teach her how to best serve family members’ needs. Learn more about Collaborative Law also known as Collaborative Practice or Collaborative Divorce at our MN Institute website and at our international organization’s website.

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