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What To Know About Claiming An Ex’s Social Security After Divorce


Like many people, you may be concerned about retirement. Do you have enough savings? What types of investments do you have? Can Social Security help?

If your work history is limited and you didn’t earn much money on an annual basis, then you may not receive much in Social Security benefits. However, if you are divorced and your ex-spouse earned more money than you, then you may want to consider claiming their benefits.

First of all, you may not know that this option even existed. Second of all, you may have questions or concerns about his approach. If you claim your ex-spouse’s benefits, will they know? Will it affect their income? Read on to get the facts about Social Security and divorce.

You’ll Need to Meet Certain Requirements

Not every divorced person will be able to claim an ex-spouse’s benefits. You do have to meet certain criteria. For one, you must have been married at least 10 years. You also cannot have remarried and it must have been at least two years since the divorce. If you meet these requirements, you can claim up to 50% of your ex-spouse’s benefits off their record, as long as they are still alive.

Your Ex’s Benefits Won’t be Affected

You can claim your ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits with no impact to them. Their benefits will not be reduced at all. They will still receive their full benefits, as will their children or current spouse, if they have remarried.

You Don’t Need Your Ex’s Approval

You may be scared to claim your ex-spouse’s benefits because you may think you will need their approval. This is not true. The Social Security Administration will not even contact your ex-spouse. In fact, they won’t even know unless they contact the Social Security Administration and ask. They can ask for information such as the name of any beneficiaries, the date you became entitled to their benefits on your record, the amount you are entitled to collect and whether or not the benefits have ended.  However,  you will need their Social Security number or some other identifying information to locate their record

Your Ex-Spouse Needs to be Eligible

You can’t take your ex’s benefits if they are not eligible.  They must be at least 62 years old and have at least 40 work credits. Once they meet these requirements and you are at least 62 years old, then you can claim their benefits.

You Only Get One Set of Benefits

You can’t claim both your and your ex-spouse’s benefits.  You can only get one, and you don’t get to choose which one. You will automatically get the higher benefit.

Seek Legal Help

If you are in need of retirement income, claiming your ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits may be a good idea. As long as you meet the requirements, you may be able to obtain a monthly income that you may not have considered before.

Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney Edward J. Jennings, P.A. can answer your questions about post-divorce matters. He can help you plan for your financial future. Schedule a consultation with our office today by calling 954-764-4330 or filling out the online form.



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