Social Security Benefits and Your Connecticut Divorce

If you are contemplating a divorce and are not yet married for a period of 10 years, you might consider waiting it out. According to Social Security guidelines, if you were married to your spouse for a period of at least 10 years, you are entitled to your spouse's/ex-spouse's Social Security benefits once you reach the age of 62. The way the benefits work, if the amount you would receive on your own, taking into account your own individual work history, is less than half of the amount of your spouse's/ex-spouse's benefits, you can make a claim for additional benefits so that the amount you receive is at least 50% of your spouse's benefits.

In the event your spouse/ex-spouse predeceases you, you would then receive 100% of his or her benefits. Your ability to claim these benefits, however, changes in the event you remarry. If you remarry before reaching the age of 60, you cannot collect benefits on your former spouse's record unless your later marriage ends (whether by death, divorce, or annulment). If you remarry after age 60, then you can still collect benefits on your former spouse's record when you reach the age of 62. If you make the mistake and remarry before reaching age 60, there is a simple solution...get a divorce. If this happens, you can then claim the benefits of either former spouse, provided you were married to him or her for a period of at least 10 years.

In the event you are in a situation where you can choose from among the benefits of several former spouses, you will have some decisions to make. If a former spouse has died, you would get 100% of his or her benefits. If a former spouse is still alive, you would get 50% of his or her benefits. You can choose to collect the benefits that give you the biggest payoff. It is also interesting to note that even if your ex-spouse has multiple ex-spouses, all of you can collect based on his or her record, provided the 10 year marriage requirement is met.