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Can You Collect Social Security Using An Ex-spouse’s Earnings?

Many people in Arkansas marriages wind up sacrificing their own schooling or careers for the sake of their partners. If you list yourself among those who spent more time managing a home or raising children than you did in the workforce, you may have valid concerns about having enough to live on during retirement after a divorce.

CNBC notes that about 30% of Americans have no idea that they may be able to collect Social Security retirement benefits based on a former spouse’s work history when a marriage ends. However, there are several factors that determine if you are eligible to do so.

When You Are Eligible For Your Ex’s Social Security

Anyone who collects Social Security retirement benefits had to work enough hours in a position that paid into Social Security to qualify for them in the first place. If your spouse is eligible for these benefits based on his or her work history, then the other determining factor in whether you are eligible to collect them based on your ex’s earnings is the length of your marriage. It had to last at least 10 years for you to do so.

How Much You Might Get In Monthly Benefits

At most, you might receive 50% of the amount your former spouse receives in Social Security retirement benefits each month if you decide to use his or her work history to get them. If your own work record also qualifies you for Social Security retirement benefits, it may serve you well to compute how much you would get in both scenarios and then opt for the one that gets you more.

Should you decide to collect Social Security based on your ex’s work record, know that it does not lessen the amount your ex-husband or ex-wife gets each month.