Are you eligible for your ex’s Social Security after a divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 31, 2022 | Property Division |

When you split from your husband or wife, you may worry about whether you are going to be able to maintain your lifestyle once you enter retirement. Many Texas residents navigating divorces have similar concerns, and about 30% of them do not realize that they may be able to collect Social Security retirement benefits using their ex-spouse’s earnings record.

According to CNBC, the number of people navigating divorce in their 50s and 60s is rising, making retirement a top concern among many people in your shoes. However, as long as you meet certain eligibility requirements, you should have the option of collecting Social Security retirement benefits using your ex’s work history.

Qualifying for spousal benefits

Several things have to be true in order for you to collect these benefits based on the work history of your former husband or wife. First, your ex has to qualify for these benefits himself or herself. This depends on how many hours your former spouse spent in a position where he or she paid into Social Security. Second, your marriage to the qualified party must have lasted 10 years or more.

Collecting spousal benefits

It may benefit you to collect Social Security retirement benefits using your ex-husband or ex-wife’s work record if you do not qualify for these benefits on your own, or if you would be able to collect more by doing so. If you decide to take these benefits using your ex’s work history, the most you may get each month is half of the amount your former partner does.

If you do decide to collect these benefits using your ex’s earnings record, your doing so does not reduce how much your former spouse is going to receive.