Divorced Spouses and Social Security

Divorced Spouses and Social Security: How to Get Benefits You Deserve

If you are divorced, you may be wondering if you are entitled to social security benefits from your ex-spouse. The answer is: it depends. In this blog post, we will discuss the eligibility requirements for divorced spouses receiving social security benefits. We will also provide some tips on how to get the most out of your social security benefits. Keep reading to learn more!

Can Divorced Spouses Receive Social Security Benefits From Their Ex?

If you are divorced and over the age of 62, you may be eligible to receive social security benefits from your ex-spouse. To qualify, you must have been married for at least ten years, and your ex-spouse must be entitled to social security benefits. If you remarry, you will no longer be eligible for benefits from your previous marriage.

Requirements For Benefits From Divorced Spouses

According to the Social Security Administration, if you are divorced, you can receive benefits from your ex-spouse (even if they have remarried) if:

  • Your marriage lasted 10 years or longer.
  • You are unmarried (and have not remarried).
  • You are aged 62 or older.
  • The benefit that you are entitled to from your own work is less than the benefit that your ex-spouse is entitled to.
  • Your spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits.

If you fit all the above requirements, you will need to gather the following information for when you apply:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce decree (these are to prove you were married for over ten years)
  • Ex-spouse’s Social Security number (if you do not have this, you will need the ex-spouse’s date of birth, place of birth, and their parents’ names)

Drawing Social Security From Your Ex-Spouse FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about receiving Social Security benefits from your ex-spouse after your divorce.

What are the requirements for social security benefits from my ex-spouse?

If you are divorced and over the age of 62, you may be eligible to receive social security benefits from your ex-spouse. To qualify, you must have been married for at least ten years, and your ex-spouse must be entitled to social security benefits. If you remarry, you will no longer be eligible for benefits from your previous marriage.

Does my ex-spouse need to be receiving benefits before I can receive them?

Your ex-spouse must be eligible to receive benefits but does not actually have had to file for benefits themselves.

Can I get social benefits from my ex-spouse if I remarry?

Unfortunately not.

Can I get social security benefits if my ex-spouse remarries?

Yes, if your ex-spouse remarries then you are still eligible for social security benefits from them.

Can I file ex-spouse benefits while delaying my own benefits to maximize my credits?

This loophole called the “file and suspend strategy”, was shut down with the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. So if you were born after January 1st, 1954, you can not “double-dip” the system anymore.

Now, if you are eligible for benefits based on your own earnings, and that benefit amount is higher than your ex-spousal benefit, that’s the amount that you will get. If the benefit amount is lower, then you’ll get the ex-spousal benefit amount.

Will my drawing benefits from my ex-spouse affect their benefits?

If you are a bitter divorcee, you may hope it will affect them for the worse, but the amount of benefits you receive actually has no effect on the amount of benefits they receive.

Will my ex-spouse know I applied and receive benefits on their behalf?

The Social Security Administration can tell your ex-spouse the name of any “auxiliary beneficiary” including the date that the beneficiary became entitled, the benefit amount, and whether the benefits have ended.

They will not tell your ex-spouse if you have filed for benefits and are waiting for a decision. They will also not give your current address or the name of a representative payee (if chosen) that is managing your benefits.

Can more than one ex-spouse receive benefits from the same person?

Yes, if they were both legally married to the same person for at least ten years each and neither has remarried. Polygamists do not qualify; only the spouse that was legally married.

What percentage of Social Security do divorced spouses receive?

The maximum amount that divorced spouses who qualify can receive is 50% of their ex-spouse’s benefit. If filing before the full retirement age, that benefit is reduced by approximated 7% for each year that is claimed before the full retirement.

Can I get an estimate of the benefit amount I could collect on my ex-spouse?

Unfortunately, you can not get this information online, but you can visit your local Social Security office or call the Social Security customer service line (1-800-772-1213), but be prepared to be on hold for several hours.

How do I apply for my divorced spouse’s Social Security?

You can apply online at SSA.gov for Social Security Retirement/Medicare benefits.

How to Maximize Social Security Benefits

There are a few things that you can do to maximize your social security benefits. First, make sure that you are aware of all the benefits that you are entitled to. There is a lot of information available on the Social Security Administration website, so take some time to explore it. You can also speak to a representative from the Social Security Administration to get more personalized advice.

Second, make sure that you are taking advantage of all the resources available to you. There are many divorce support groups and organizations that can offer advice and assistance. These groups can help you navigate the divorce process and make sure that you are getting the most out of your benefits.

Third, make sure that you are proactive in your approach to social security. There are a lot of changes that can happen over time, so it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest information. This includes keeping track of any new laws or regulations that might affect your benefits.

Fourth, consider consulting with a financial advisor. A financial advisor can help you understand your options and make sure that you are making the best decisions for your future.

Fifth, remember that you can change your mind about social security. If you think that you might want to retire early, for example, you can adjust your benefits accordingly. You can also change your mind about how much you want to receive in benefits.

Sixth, make sure that you are prepared for the future. There are a lot of things that can happen over time, so it is important to have a plan in place. This includes having an emergency fund and making sure that you have enough money saved for retirement. seventh, stay informed about social security. There are a lot of changes that can happen over time, so it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest information. This includes keeping track of any new laws or regulations that might affect your benefits. eighth, consider speaking to a lawyer. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and make sure that you are getting the most out of your social security benefits.

Ninth, make sure that you are comfortable with the decisions that you are making. This is your life and your future, so you need to make sure that you are happy with the decisions that you are making. tenth, keep in mind that you can always change your mind about social security. If you think that you might want to retire early, for example, you can adjust your benefits accordingly. You can also change your mind about how much you want to receive in benefits.

Divorced Spouses and Social Security: How to Get Benefits You Deserve