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Can spouses still receive social security after divorce?

Many spouses may be wondering if they can still collect Social Security benefits from their ex-spouses. Massachusetts spouses may still be entitled to receive their ex-spouse's Social Security income after divorce based on certain criteria. One of the major criteria is based on how much the ex-spouse earned and how long the marriage lasted.

Spouses do not still need to be married to receive their ex-spouse's Social Security benefits, but the spouses must have been married for at least 10 years prior to divorce and not remarried to collect. However, the receiving spouse can still collect if the other spouse has remarried. In addition, one spouse can have several ex-spouses receiving his or her Social Security benefits as long as they have met the 10-year marriage criteria.

Furthermore, an ex-spouse who is collecting will not affect the current spouse’s benefits. Spouses who were married more than one time for at least 10 years for each marriage may receive the largest amount possible as long as they provide sufficient evidence of marriage and divorce. Spouses do not need to be concerned about their ex cutting them off from receiving Social Security benefits as long as they have met the conditions.

Divorce can be complicated when there are assets and property to divide. It can become even more complicated when Social Security benefits are involved. Massachusetts spouses may be able to increase their income by filing to receive their ex's Social Security benefits. It may be wise for spouses to gain as much knowledge as possible to increase the potential of having a favorable outcome.

Source: forbes.com, "Getting Social Security Benefits After Divorce", John Wasik, July 21, 2014

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