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Can you collect Social Security using an ex-spouse’s work record?

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2022 | Family Law | 0 comments

When you divorce your spouse later on in life, you may worry about whether you are going to have enough for retirement without your former partner. You may be able to obtain Social Security retirement benefits once you reach a certain age. However, your ability to do so depends on how much time you spent in a position covered by Social Security, among other variables.

A significant percentage of those navigating divorce today fall within the 55-to-64 age range. If you fall into this category, it may serve you well to figure out how to maximize the amount you are eventually going to collect each month in Social Security retirement benefits.

Using an ex-spouse’s work history to qualify

Several things have to be true for you to be able to use your ex-spouse’s work record to collect Social Security retirement benefits:

  1. First, your former spouse must be eligible for these benefits. This means they have to be old enough to collect them. It also means they spent enough time in a position covered by Social Security to qualify for them.
  2. Furthermore, your marriage to this individual must have lasted 10 years or longer for you to be able to collect these benefits based on your former spouse’s record.

Figuring out how to maximize your payments

If you also qualify for these benefits on your own accord, do some research to see how much you are eligible to collect. The most you might collect based on your ex-spouse’s record is half of what they take home each month.

Keep in mind, too, that the maximum amount anyone may collect in these benefits each month changes from year to year. An experienced divorce attorney can provide guidance on property and asset division particularly as it applies to retirement and Social Security benefits.