Can I Collect Social Security From My Ex?

social security benefits

When you get divorced, you split up all of the property. This can include some assets that have not come in yet, like your spouse’s future Social Security benefits. Depending on how long you were married and a few other factors, you may be able to collect on those benefits later on in life. Our Bergen County, NJ property division attorneys can tell you more.

How Long Do I Have to Be Married to Collect Social Security From My Ex?

You have to be married for a while to collect on a former spouse’s Social Security benefits. Staying married for 10 years or more will give you access to those benefits once you reach a certain age. If you are only married for a short time, you will have to rely on your own benefits once you reach retirement age.

It’s also important to note that you must be divorced for at least two years before you can collect your ex’s benefits. So someone cannot just end a marriage and then turn around to apply for benefits.

How Old Do I Have to Be to Collect?

You can collect a Social Security benefit equal to one-half of your ex’s benefit once you reach the age of 66. This is considered full retirement age. If you want to apply for benefits earlier, that is possible. You should just know that you will receive less than one-half of your ex’s benefit.

Can I Collect My Ex’s Social Security If I Get Remarried?

Nope. This works a lot like most alimony agreements. Once you get remarried, you should no longer require the support of your former spouse. This includes your ex’s Social Security benefits. This also means that you cannot try to collect on the benefits of multiple former spouses.

What If I Have My Own Social Security Benefits?

If you have your own Social Security benefits, you can only collect your spouse’s benefits if you would get more this way. You receive 50% of what your former spouse would receive in benefits once they reach full retirement age. So let’s say that your spouse gets a benefit of $2,000. You would get $1,000 per month from their benefit, as long as your own benefit is not higher than that. If you had a benefit of, let’s say, $1,250 per month, then you would not be eligible to collect on your former spouse’s benefits, since $1,250 is more than half of $2,000.

Meet With Our Legal Team

If you want to learn more about your legal options and what you are entitled to after a divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark. We can schedule a consultation and learn more about your situation. If you are entitled to your former spouse’s social security benefits, we will help you collect them.

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