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Top four things to know about Social Security if you are divorced

Your ex-spouse could be eligible to receive your benefits, even if you are remarried.

your social security money could go to your ex

Here are four rules you should know about social security if you are divorced.

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1. Your ex-spouse could receive your benefits

In order to claim your benefits, they must fall into these categories:

  • You were married for at least ten years
  • Your ex-spouse is unmarried
  • Your ex-spouse is at least 62

The benefit that your ex-spouse is entitled to receive based on their own work is less than the benefit they would receive based on your work.

2. How much can they get?

This is determined on a case by case basis. But, the maximum spousal benefit is 50% of whatever your ex-spouse will collect at full retirement age.

For example, if you retire at your full retirement age in 2022, your maximum monthly benefit will be $3,345. Your ex-spouse will be entitled to $1,672.50 per month.

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3. Which benefits could they receive?

According to the SSA, if you have been divorced for at least two continuous years, your ex-spouse is eligible to receive retirement benefits on your record even if you have not applied yet.

However, if they qualify for their own retirement benefits, Social Security will pay that amount first. If your benefits are higher than your ex-spouse’s, they are also entitled to some of yours. Ensuring that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount.

If your ex was born before January 2, 1954, they are entitled to delay their own retirement benefit until later and only choose to receive divorced spouse’s benefits.

If your ex’s birthday is January 2, 1954, or later, the option to take only one benefit at full retirement expires.

4. How can remarriage affect your benefits?

Getting married again might affect your Social Security benefits. Remarried couples do not need to worry about retirement benefits as those will not be affected.

If you are the divorced spouse of someone who has passed away, you may be eligible for benefits same as the widow. To qualify for that compensation, you need to have been married 10 years or longer.

If you remarry after 60, or 50 for those with disabilities, then remarriage will not affect eligibility.

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