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

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2022 | Divorce

After a California divorce, you may need to modify your plans for retirement. This may prove particularly true if you were banking on getting by using your ex’s retirement funds and you now face a future on your own. However, if you meet specific eligibility criteria, you may be able to get Social Security retirement benefits using the work record of your former husband or wife.

According to CNBC, you may be able to do so if the following applies to your situation.

Determining eligibility

Several things must be true for you to start collecting Social Security retirement benefits using your ex’s work history after a divorce. For starters, your former husband or wife must have had enough hours logged in a position covered by Social Security to be eligible for these benefits at all. Then, your marriage to this individual must have lasted 10 years or longer for you to be able to collect Social Security using his or her work record.

Determining how much you might collect

If you decide to obtain Social Security retirement benefits using your former spouse’s record, rather than your own, the maximum you may be able to collect is 50% of what your spouse takes home at full retirement age. For this reason, it may benefit you to research how much you might take home using your own work history and then compare the two figures.

If you do decide to collect these benefits using your former partner’s work history, your decision to do so has no impact on how much your ex collects each month.

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