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

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2022 | Divorce |

Gray divorce is on the rise across New Jersey and many other parts of the United States. If you count yourself among those who are splitting from their spouses later in life, you may wonder if you are going to have enough set away for retirement to enjoy a comfortable, high quality of life.

According to CNBC, many people in your shoes do not realize that they may have the option of collecting Social Security retirement benefits based on their ex-spouse’s work records, as opposed to their own.

Who is eligible to collect an ex’s benefits

The main criteria for being able to collect Social Security retirement benefits using your former husband or wife’s work history is that your marriage must have lasted 10 years or more. However, your former spouse also needs to have enough of a career history in a job or jobs covered by Social Security to qualify for these benefits.

How much you might collect

The maximum amount you might collect in Social Security retirement benefits if you do so using your ex-spouse’s work history is half the amount he or she collects upon reaching full retirement age. It may benefit you financially to figure out whether this figure is going to be more than you would take home if you decided to collect these benefits using your own work history. Then, you may compare the two figures to see which is higher.

Even if you opt to collect these benefits using your ex’s work history, your doing so does not take any money away from your one-time partner. He or she collects the same amount regardless of whether you collect these benefits using your ex-spouse’s work history.