Worries about finances typically go hand in hand when one
begins the divorce process. Most couples
experience serious financial concerns when looking at maintaining two separate residences with the income that once only supported a
single marital household.
During the divorce process, the “we” becomes “only me” and everything from retirement assets to
the kitchen pots and pans are divvied up during the settlement process. Typically, this means a much leaner financial
lifestyle for the spouse that wasn’t the earner, at least for a transitional
period. Financial concerns are especially
immediate for those who divorce later in life and who haven’t regularly earned
income during the marriage.
However, the Social Security Administration may offer a
silver lining to those who earn considerably less than their former
spouses. There is the possibility that a
low-earner may be able to collect Social Security benefits based on the higher
earnings of their former spouse. The
best part is that doing so does not impact your former spouse’s ability to
collect their benefits.
In order to collect benefits based on your ex-spouses
earnings, the following eligibility requirements must be met:
- You were married to your former spouse for at
least 10 years and you are at least 62 years old.
- You have not remarried. If you do remarry, you are no longer eligible
to receive social security benefits based upon the earnings of a former spouse.
- The amount you would receive based upon your own
earnings is less than what you would receive based upon the earnings of your
Also, if you have been married several times, and are
currently unmarried, you may be able to choose the highest yielding benefit
from your ex’s as long as you meet the above-mentioned criteria.
If your former spouse yet to apply for Social Security benefits, you may still apply and receive divorce
spouse benefits as long as you meet the eligibility criteria and you have been
divorced from that spouse for at least two years.
While the divorced spouse benefit is not a financial savior
for everyone going through the difficult ordeal of divorce, it is important to
remember that this benefit exists. Every little bit helps when trying to adjust
to a new financial lifestyle.
For more information from the Social Security Administration Website, click here
Labels: divorce, Social Security Administration, spousal benefit, SSA