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Social Security Retirement Planner: If you are divorced

If you are divorced, but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you can receive benefits on your ex-spouse's record even if he or she has remarried if:

  • You are unmarried;
  • You are age 62 or older;
  • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits; and
  • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse's work.

Note:  Your benefit as a divorced spouse is equal to one-half of your ex-spouse's full retirement amount (or disability benefit) if you start receiving benefits at your full retirement age.

If you remarry, you generally cannot collect benefits on your former spouse's record unless your later marriage ends whether by death, divorce or annulment.

If your ex-spouse has not applied for retirement benefits, but can qualify for them, you can receive benefits on his or her record if you have been divorced for at least two years.

If you are eligible for retirement benefits on your own record the Social Security Administration will pay that amount first.  But if:

  • the benefit on his or her record is a higher amount, you will get a combination of benefits that equals that higher amount reduced by age.
  • you have reached full retirement age and you are eligible for a spouse's benefit and your own retirement benefit, you have a choice.

You can choose to receive only the divorced spouse's benefits now and delay receiving retirement benefits until a later date.  If retirement benefits are delay, a higher benefit may be received at a later date on the effect of Delayed Retirement Credits.

Feel free to contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar to schedule a FREE one-hour consultation to discuss your particular situation.

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Law Offices of Renee Lazar
4308 Thompson Farm
Bedford, MA 01730
Phone: 978-844-4095
Fax: 781-687-5807
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