Am I entitled to my husband’s SS benefits after being married for 10 years, if I am now divorced?

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Am I entitled to my husband’s SS benefits after being married for 10 years, if I am now divorced?

Asked on December 20, 2010 under Family Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You may well be; a divorced spouse may receive SS benefits based either upon his/her own contributions or possibly as a spouse/ex-spouse of a contributor.  This is a brief overview of how SS works for ex-spouses:

  1. If a divorced spouse was married for 10 years or more, he/she can collect the greater of: (a) 50% percent of the value of the ex-spouse’s benefit; or (b) 100% of his/her own benefit;
  2. The divorced spouse must be unmarried at least 62 years old;
  3. The divorced spouse must have been divorced for at least 2 years before he/she can start collecting from the contributing ex-spouse (unless the ex-spouse is at least 62 and already receiving benefits);
  4. If the divorced spouse remarries, he/she is no longer eligible for a percentage of the benefits from the previous ex-spouse (if the remarriage terminates, the divorced spouse once again becomes eligible for benefits from the previous ex-spouse);
  5. There is no reduction in benefits for the primary contributor even though the ex-spouse receives the value of a percentage of his/her benefits; and
  6. If the contributing spouse is deceased, the surviving ex-spouse can collect benefits at age 60 as long as he/she has not remarried.

For more informtion you can look at:  http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/yourdivspouse.htm


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