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Social Security payments after divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2023 | Divorce

Many Indiana couples seeking divorce aren’t thinking about their future Social Security benefits. This means that many divorced individuals are potentially missing out on income that could be helpful during their retirement years.

In some cases, a divorced person may receive a higher benefit payment if they apply for Social Security on their former spouse’s work record. To do so requires that the marriage lasted for at least 10 years. Other factors play into whether you will qualify for divorced spousal benefits.

Qualifying for divorced spousal payments

Divorced spousal payments can be up to 50 percent of what your ex would get. Regardless of how long you were married to your ex, you can’t collect on these benefits if you’ve since remarried.

You and your ex must be at least 62 years old or already receiving Social Security disability benefits. In addition, you must wait at least two years after the divorce to try and claim these benefits if your ex isn’t collecting on them.

What if my ex is dead?

If your ex dies, you may be eligible for 100 percent of what your ex was, or should have been, receiving. You can also apply for this payment at age 60 instead of 62. You can collect on these benefits and remarry as well – but not before the age of sixty.

Another huge difference is that divorced survivor benefits allow you to switch to benefits based on your work record at a later period. If your ex is still alive, you have to choose whether you’ll receive payments from their Social Security benefit of yours, and you can’t change your mind later.

Understanding how Social Security benefits apply to divorced couples can help you better plan for retirement. It is something you should also take into consideration if you are currently getting a divorce.