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

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2022 | blog, Divorce |

When you split from your Texas husband or wife later in life, you may worry about what retirement is going to look like now that your former partner is not going to be there to help support you. You may not realize that if you meet certain eligibility requirements, you may be able to start collecting Social Security retirement benefits based on your former spouse’s work record, as opposed to your own.

According to CNBC, “gray divorce,” or divorce that occurs later on in life, has become increasingly common across the United States. Nowadays, the majority of people navigating divorce fall somewhere between 55 and 64 years of age. If you fall into this category, you may want to see if you are eligible to collect Social Security retirement benefits using your former partner’s work record.

Qualifying for benefits based on your ex’s record

The length of your marriage is a determining factor in whether you may collect Social Security retirement benefits using your ex’s history. For you to be able to do so, your marriage must have lasted 10 years or longer. Also, your ex had to have devoted enough time to a position covered by Social Security to qualify for these benefits outright.

Collecting benefits based on your ex’s record

Your decision to collect benefits based on the work history of your ex does not affect how much your former husband or wife takes home. However, the most you are going to be able to collect each month is half of your ex does upon reaching the full age of retirement.

It may benefit you in the financial sense to see if you qualify for Social Security retirement benefits without your former partner. Then, you may compare the two amounts and take whichever is higher.