Divorce and Social Security Retirement Benefits

I have received a question regarding whether or not a person is entitled to retirement benefits on their ex-spouse’s Social Security record. The law on this is as follows:

An unmarried divorced spouse is entitled to benefits starting at age 62 if they had been married for at least 10 years and there ex- husband or ex wife is at least 62 years old (retired and receiving benefits or not) or are receiving Social Security Disability benefits.

A divorced spouse cannot receive this benefit if they have remarried unless the marriage is to a person already receiving benefits as a widow, widower, parent, or disabled adult child.

If the ex-spouse is 62 but not retired, then the divorce must have occurred at least two years before the divorced spouse can receive the benefits. If the divorced spouse was entitled before the divorce to benefits, there is no waiting period.

As for the amount of benefits that can be received:

A divorced spouse at full retirement age is entitled to 50% of their ex-spouse’s retirement benefit.

At age 62 the divorced spouse is entitled to between 32 1/2 % and 35 5/6 % of their ex-spouse’s retirement benefit depending on the divorced spouse’s full retirement age.

If the divorced spouse is also insured for their own retirement benefit, she/he would only receive whatever amount from their ex-spouse that is necessary to make up the difference.

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