If a man has both an ex-wife and a widow, after he dies who draws his social security?

My husband was married 10 years then divorced. We have been married 23 years. If he dies, who draws his social security?

Asked on October 6, 2017 under Family Law, Tennessee

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Both a wife and ex-wife can collect Social Security benefits on their ex-husband's/husband's employment record. As for the current wife, she can choose to collect on either hers or their husband's record; her choice. An ex-wife can receive Social Security benefits based on her ex-husband's work record but only if she meets certain qualifications. She can receive benefits if she was married 10 years or more, has not remarried, is at least 62 years old and the benefits that she will on receive on her ex-husband's record are more than benefits under her own work record. That having been said, in order to collect however, her former spouse must also be at least 62 and eligible for Social Security benefits and they must have been divorced for at least 2 years. Note, he doesn’t have to be currently receiving benefits in order for her to collect.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Both a wife and ex-wife can collect Social Security benefits on their ex-husband's/husband's employment record. As for the current wife, she can choose to collect on either hers or their husband's record; her choice. An ex-wife can receive Social Security benefits based on her ex-husband's work record but only if she meets certain qualifications. She can receive benefits if she was married 10 years or more, has not remarried, is at least 62 years old and the benefits that she will on receive on her ex-husband's record are more than benefits under her own work record. That having been said, in order to collect however, her former spouse must also be at least 62 and eligible for Social Security benefits and they must have been divorced for at least 2 years. Note, he doesn’t have to be currently receiving benefits in order for her to collect.


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