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

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2022 | Divorce |

Many people across Connecticut find themselves navigating “gray” divorces, which are divorces that take place later on in life. If you count yourself among them, you may find that you have different priorities now than you might if you had divorced, say, during your 20s or 30s. More specifically, you may wonder what your retirement picture is going to look like now that your one-time spouse is not going to be there.

Per CNBC, many people who divorce later in life do not realize that they may have the opportunity to collect Social Security retirement benefits using the work record of their former spouse, rather than their own. Whether this makes financial sense depends on several circumstances, including whether you could collect more using your ex’s work history or your own.

Who is eligible to collect benefits using an ex’s record

There are several specific things that must hold true for you to collect Social Security retirement benefits using the work history of your former spouse. To start, your ex must be eligible for these benefits in the first place. Whether your ex is eligible depends on how much time he or she devoted in life to a position that Social Security covers. The other determining factor is whether your marriage to this individual lasted at least 10 years.

How much you might collect using an ex’s record

If you take Social Security retirement benefits using your ex-spouse’s work record, the largest amount you may receive each month is half of what he or she does upon reaching full retirement age.

Your decision to collect benefits using your ex’s work history is not going to have an impact on how much your former partner takes home each month.