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Can you receive your former spouse’s Social Security benefits?

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2021 | Divorce

If you’re filing for divorce in California, you might be surprised to learn that you could potentially qualify for a portion of your spouse’s Social Security retirement benefits. However, you’ll have to meet a set of qualifications once you reach retirement age.

How can you get Social Security payments from your ex-spouse?

If you qualify for your own Social Security payments, it’s best to stick with that and get the full payout. However, if you don’t qualify for Social Security, you might be able to get a monthly check that’s equal to 50% of your former spouse’s payments. To qualify, you must have been married to your former spouse for at least 10 years. You can’t be remarried and must have filed for divorce at least 10 years ago.

When you reach retirement age, you can seek Social Security payments based on your former spouse’s record. You won’t have to let them know that you’re doing this–you can contact the Social Security Administration directly to see if you’re eligible. If you are, your payments will not affect your former spouse’s payments in every way. You’ll get a completely separate payout from the government, not a portion of your former spouse’s check.

During your divorce, you might have declined access to your spouse’s Social Security benefits. Your spouse might have even prohibited you from taking them during the asset division process. However, the SSA will honor your request regardless of what happened during your divorce. As long as you qualify, you can receive a portion of your former spouse’s Social Security payments. A divorce attorney could tell you more about planning for retirement after your divorce.

Are you divorcing at a later age?

An increasing number of older couples are getting divorced. This allows you to start fresh, but you’ll also have to figure out what you’re going to do about Social Security and retirement. An attorney could help you plan for the future and make sure that your retirement goes as planned.