Social Security Benefits for Divorced Spouses

There are many emotional and financial consequences of divorce, some of which are long-lasting. Once such consequence is how divorce affects a spouse's Social Security benefits. Did you know that when someone gets divorced, they may qualify for benefits on their spouse's record, even if their spouse remarries?

If you are considering divorce in Nassau County, it's important that you be aware that your spouse may be entitled to Social Security benefits on your record. If your soon-to-be-ex will be receiving a pension based on work that was not covered by Social Security; for example, foreign work, then their Social Security benefit on your record could be affected.

In order for you divorced spouse to qualify for benefits on your record, he or she must meet the following requirements:

  • They must have been married to you for at least 10 years.
  • They must be at least 62 years of age.
  • They must be unmarried, but you can be.
  • They cannot be eligible for an equal or higher benefit on their own Social Security record, nor can they be eligible for a higher benefit on anyone else's record.

Will my benefits be affected?

When our clients discover that their divorced spouses are entitled to their Social Security benefits, they are often concerned that this would affect their benefit payments. If you're uneasy about your ex-spouse receiving benefits on your record, you don't have to worry.

The good news is that even if your ex is entitled to benefits on your record, it will have no effect on the amount of benefits that you or your new husband or wife may receive.

What if my ex-spouse remarries?

If your ex-spouse is receiving benefits on your record and he or she remarries, they generally cannot collect benefits on your record unless their marriage ends by annulment, divorce, or death.

If your ex-spouse has yet to apply for retirement benefits, but would qualify for them, you can receive benefits on their record as long as you have been divorced for at least two years. However, we will need to further explain your options, including the choice of receiving only your spouse's benefit for now and delaying your own retirement benefits until a later date.

For more divorce advice, contact a Nassau County divorce attorney from Jason M. Barbara & Associates, P.C. for a free case evaluation!