family law

Tips On Social Security After Divorce

Many people are confused about Social Security payments after a divorce. Below is a quick primer.

A divorced spouse gets either their own social security benefits upon retirement, or ½ the value of their former spouse, whichever is greater.  If they take ½ the value of the former spouses benefit, the former spouse’s benefit will not be reduced accordingly. The only caveat is re-marriage: a divorced spouse cannot claim benefits under their former spouses record if they are remarried and and have not again divorced or been widowed.

The Family Court has no jurisdiction to make orders regarding divisibly of Social Security. Social Security is a Federal benefit and is not subject to apportionment in a divorce case.  It is, however, income that can be relevant in support matters.

An ex spouse has no say regarding whether or not a former spouse may claim Social Security on their record.  They will never be contacted by Social Security and are likely to never know.

If you are 62 and your ex spouse is at least 62 with 10 years of full time work credit, you can claim social security on the ex’s record.  If an ex spouse is 62 but has yet to claim benefits, the former spouse does not have to wait. As long as the ex spouse is eligible to recieve benefits, they can be paid to the other party if they are at least 62.

Finally, many people think that a divorced spouse gets to choose between their benefit or ½ the former spouse’s benefit, whichever is higher. This is incorrect. The Social Security Administration will determine the benefit and pay the higher amount.

Source: Ex Spouse Benefits and How They Affect You

Ex Spouses Benefits and You

I hope you find this helpful,

Be well, stay safe, 


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