It’s not uncommon for Florida couples to get divorced at an older age. This presents a lot of unique issues when it comes to benefits and income, particularly how it relates to Social Security benefits.
How is Social Security impacted by divorce?
Many people who have been married for a long time have their Social Security benefits tied into their marriage. For example, a stay-at-home spouse might be using their partner’s work record to file for Social Security benefits.
If your Social Security benefits are tied into your soon-to-be ex-spouse’s work record and you’ve already started collecting, you might be in luck. Many people can still receive Social Security benefits based on their ex-spouse’s work record even after a divorce or remarriage.
This comes with a few rules and regulations, though. The stay-at-home spouse would be able to claim Social Security benefits using their ex-spouse’s work record as long as they’ve been married for 10 years or more. However, someone who also worked and has Social Security benefits equal to or more than the other spouse’s benefits wouldn’t be able to do this.
You must be at least 62 years old. You also can’t claim the benefits after you remarry, unless you find yourself single again for some reason.
What are ex-spousal benefits?
Social Security also has ex-spousal benefits, which allows ex-spouses to claim up to 50% of the ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits. You can claim whichever benefit is higher: ex-spousal benefits or regular Social Security benefits using the ex-spouse’s record.
There are a few exceptions to these rules, and the claims process can involve a lot of paperwork. It’s important to research all of your options before trying to claim any benefits.