Just like during tax season, it’s good to have all the information you need early so you can prepare. If you are divorced, but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you may still receive benefits on your ex-spouse’s social security benefits even if they have remarried.

Here are the guidelines:

  • 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.

Your benefit as a divorced spouse is equal to one-half of your ex-spouse’s full retirement amount (or disability benefit) if you start receiving benefits at your full retirement age. The benefits do not include any delayed retirement credits your ex-spouse may receive.

However if you are remarried, you generally cannot collect benefits on your former spouse’s record unless your later marriage ends whether by death, divorce, or annulment.

If your ex-spouse has not applied for retirement benefits, but can qualify for them, you can receive benefits on their record so long as you have been divorced for at least two years.

If you were born before January 2, 1954, and have already reached full retirement age, you can choose to receive only the divorced spouse’s benefit and delay receiving your retirement benefit until a later date. If your birthday is January 2, 1954 or later, the option to take only one benefit at full retirement age no longer exists unfortunately. If you file for one benefit, you will be effectively filing for all retirement or spousal benefits.

If you continue to work while receiving benefits, the retirement benefit earnings limit still applies. If you are eligible for benefits this year and are still working, check out this earnings test calculator to see those earnings would affect your benefit payments. https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/RTeffect.html

If you will also receive a pension based on work not covered by Social Security, such as government work, your Social Security benefit on your ex-spouse’s record may be affected.

Knowing what you are entitled to is essential retirement planning – especially for those individuals who have gone through divorce.  The Kendrick Law Group is here to answer all of your family law related questions. Contact attorney Samantha Sauer at 407-641-5847 to schedule your complementary consultation.