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Is claiming an ex-spouse’s Social Security an option for you?

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2023 | Divorce |

A Massachusetts divorce has a notable impact on your finances, potentially affecting everything from how much you have to spend each month to how much you have tucked away for retirement. Many people working through divorce have concerns about enjoying the same lifestyle, post-divorce, they had during their marriages. Many people also do not realize that they may have the option of receiving Social Security retirement benefits due to the earnings record of a former spouse.

Per CNBC, certain factors determine if you may collect Social Security using your former spouse’s work record after a split.

What makes you eligible to do so

Whether you or your ex may receive Social Security retirement at all depends on two variables: age and work history. Say your ex qualifies for Social Security based on his or her work record and you do not. You may still be able to get these benefits as long as your marriage to an eligible party lasted, at minimum, 10 years.

How much you might get

If you decide to collect Social Security using your ex’s work history, then you may receive, at most, half of the amount your former romantic partner does each month. Thus, if your own work history also makes you eligible for these benefits, it is worth figuring out if you would receive more collecting 100% of your own benefit or 50% of your ex-spouse’s. The amount received depends on the recipient’s average monthly earnings over an extended period.

Data shows that about 30% of Americans have no idea collecting Social Security using an ex’s work history is even an option.