When your Indiana marriage comes to an end, you may not give much consideration to how long it lasted before you decided to pull the plug. You might be remiss to do so, though, because the length of your marriage plays a big part in determining if you are eligible for a former spouse’s Social Security when you divorce.
Per CNBC, whether you, your former spouse or anyone else may collect Social Security retirement benefits once reaching the appropriate age depends on how long you spent working in a position that paid into the Social Security system. In simple terms, you need to have a certain amount of work credits to qualify.
When you are eligible for an ex’s Social Security
If your former husband or ex-wife qualifies for Social Security retirement benefits, you may claim them based on his or her work history if your marriage lasted 10 years or more. However, you do not have entitlement to the same amount as your former spouse and may get, at most, half of the amount the U.S. Social Security Administration sends him or her.
When collecting benefits under your spouse’s record makes sense
Collecting these benefits using your former spouse’s work history makes sense in two scenarios. First, it makes sense if you do not have enough of a work history to collect these benefits on your own. Second, it makes sense if you do qualify for benefits, but the amount you would get would amount to less than you would, had you taken them under your spouse’s name.
The amount your ex-husband or ex-wife gets each month remains unchanged, regardless of whether you use his or her work record to collect your own benefits.