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Divorce: Claiming Social Security on an ex-spouse's work record

A spouse who is no longer married may be able to come by some extra income thanks to his or her former spouse. Some Connecticut individuals who have gone through divorce could collect Social Security benefits through the work record of their former spouses if their circumstances meet certain conditions. For instance, the former spouse needs to be entitled to receive Social Security or disability benefits.

Unless a former spouse is deceased, a qualifying person can claim up to half the benefit based on the former spouse's work record. If the ex is deceased, the former spouse may be able to collect the ex's entire benefit. Those who remarry and whose second spouses die could claim benefits through their first ex-spouses or their second ones, but the 10-year marriage rule applies in either case.

This rule applies even if the person remarries and even if the person's new spouse is collecting from a plan. The former spouse still has the option of collecting on his or her record as well. If the former spouse remarries before he or she turns 60, he or she won't be able to collect survivor's benefits (which is somewhat different than claiming on a former spouse's Social Security record when the former spouse is living). If the individual remarries after the age of 60, the survivor's benefits may still be claimed, though with some stipulations.

There may be some issues of which individuals who have gone through a divorce are unaware. A Connecticut attorney experienced in this complicated area of the law can explain the issues applicable in these circumstances. The lawyer can also enlighten a client as to what benefits he or she may be entitled to after being divorced. 

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  • Hi Yuliana and Attorney Prince, Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to meet with me. I really appreciated how compassionate you were while listening to my situation, even through my tears. Thank you so much for sharing such valuable information with me. I left feeling very hopeful that when the dust settles, I’ll be ok.
  • Wendy helped guide us through a very difficult and emotional process and was really able to provide an even and fair account for both parties. It's quite evident in her expertise in this area but the way she was able to make you feel safe and secure in a very insecure time goes far beyond her legal prowess. If the two parties are really willing to cooperate and collaborate, she's there to help gain the best possible solution for all involved, especially if there are children.
  • Regardless of how committed one is to the fact that divorce may be imminent and necessary, it is truly one of the most emotional and stressful situations one can experience. It can also be daunting. Wendy has a remarkable ability to cut through the noise and help you focus on the big picture while drilling down on what is most pertinent to your particular situation., they are a formidable team who work collectively with your best interests in mind.
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