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Can I Collect Social Security Benefits From My Ex-Spouse in Michigan?

Posted on in Divorce

novi divorce lawyerGetting a divorce can be financially disastrous. Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, a divorce can cost anywhere from thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars to complete. Getting a divorce when you are close to retirement can be especially devastating. In many cases, retirement accounts are considered to be marital property and are subject to division during the property division phase of your divorce. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) allows individuals to collect Social Security benefits through their ex-spouse’s benefit to help supplement their income during retirement.

Qualifying for Benefits Through Your Ex-Spouse

In order to claim benefits through your ex-spouse’s work record, there are certain criteria that you must meet. You can claim up to half of the amount of your ex-spouse’s benefit even if they have remarried, however, all of the following must be true to be eligible to claim this benefit:

  • Your marriage lasted for at least 10 years.

  • You are unmarried.

  • You are at least 62 years old.

  • The benefit you would receive from your own work record is less than the benefit you would receive if you claimed it from your ex-spouse’s work record.

  • You are entitled to Social Security or disability benefits.

Eligibility Determined By Marital Status

You are only able to claim Social Security benefits on your ex-spouse’s work record if you have not remarried since your divorce. If you have remarried, you are no longer considered an “ex-spouse” by the SSA -- you are considered a spouse of your current husband or wife. If your current marriage ends in the death of your spouse or a divorce, you may still be able to claim benefits from either spouse, depending on which benefit is higher. If your divorced spouse dies, you can get remarried after you are 60 or older without the marriage affecting your survivor’s benefit, which would be the same as the widow’s benefit.

Contact an Oakland County Divorce Lawyer Today

Retirement is often a serious worry for couples who are getting divorced. When your retirement funds are subject to division, there is a very real possibility that you could be left without enough money to survive during retirement. However, you may be able to claim benefits from the SSA through your ex-spouse when it comes time to retire. At Elkouri Heath, PLC, our goal is to help you achieve a comfortable retirement and a peaceful divorce. To schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable Novi, MI divorce attorneys, call our office today at 248-344-9700.





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