Claiming Social Security Benefits After a Divorce

In a divorce, spouses work to divide their assets and debts. You only get one chance to do it, so it’s important to consider the future. When you’re dividing assets, don’t just think of the here and now. Think of what your life may look like 10, 20 or even 30 years in the future. The decisions you make today will impact that time. 

At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., in Arlington, Texas, we often talk with our clients about what the future will look like after a divorce, including the plan for Social Security benefits. While the best way to get information about your situation is to talk with one of our attorneys directly, here’s what you should know to get started.

Ex-Spouses Can Receive Social Security Benefits If They Meet Certain Requirements

Many people think that a divorce means you lose the right to your ex’s Social Security benefits, but that’s not true. According to the Social Security Administration, ex-spouses are eligible for benefits based on their spouse’s record, even if they remarry. 

There are several requirements that you must meet, however:

  • You and your ex must have been married 10 years
  • Your ex never remarried
  • Your ex is at least 62 years old
  • Your ex is entitled to Social Security benefits or disability benefits
  • The benefit that your ex is entitled to receive based on their own work is less than the benefit they would receive based on your work

Your former spouse doesn’t have to be actively collecting Social Security benefits in order for you to qualify. But, if you’re claiming ex-spousal benefits, the divorce must be at least two years old.

How Much of My Ex’s Social Security Can I Collect?

As a divorced spouse, the most you can collect is 50% of the benefit amount your ex-spouse would be entitled to at full retirement age (which is 66 or 67, depending on the year you were born).

You can get the maximum amount only if you wait until you are also at the full retirement age. If you file earlier, the benefit amount is reduced. This may seem complicated, but you can talk about it with one of our lawyers or the Social Security Administration for answers that are specific to your unique situation.

Talk With a Lawyer About Social Security After a Divorce

At the Schneider Law Firm, we are well prepared to answer your divorce questions, especially when it comes to your finances. Call our Arlington law office at  817-799-7125 or send us a message for help with your social security benefits after a divorce.