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Can you get Social Security benefits after a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2021 | Family Law

There are different types of financial assistance you could receive from your former spouse to support yourself after divorce. Most people are aware of alimony, but they may not realize that it’s possible to receive a portion of an ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits too. Whether you live in Texas or another state, you could receive part of your ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits if you’re eligible.

Eligibility requirements

You must be single and at least 62 years old to receive part of your former spouse’s Social Security benefits. Some specific restrictions apply. Your marriage must have lasted for at least 10 years. In addition, the benefits you receive from your own work history must be less than half of the benefits your former spouse receives. If your ex-spouse doesn’t qualify for Social Security benefits, then you won’t receive this type of financial assistance.

How much could you receive?

Family law statutes only allow a person to collect up to 50% of their former spouse’s Social Security benefits. There is no guarantee that you’ll claim this much. It depends on your specific situation. This 50% limit is not an addition to your own benefits either; if you earn some Social Security from your own work history, then the amount you can claim from your spouse probably won’t be the full 50%.

What happens if you continue to work?

You might receive a different benefit amount if you continue working after the age of 62. The government has a retirement earnings test to determine your benefits.

The rules for sharing Social Security benefits after a divorce are strict. You must check if you meet all of the eligibility requirements before factoring in the possible income. How much you receive is also limited if you have a work history, so you may want to ask your divorce attorney about the amount you could be eligible for.