In our contentious world, divorces are becoming a more regular part of the conversation. For older couples, retirement and Social Security benefits come into play as essential parts of those negotiation conversations. If you were married to someone that’s now receiving Social Security retirement benefits, is 62 or older, or disabled, you might be entitled to spousal benefits as a divorced spouse.
In simple terms, if your marriage lasted more than ten years, if you’re currently unmarried and are 62 or older, you could receive benefits. As AARP notes, even if your ex-spouse has remarried, you can receive benefits as long as the spouse passes the qualification test, and you can even begin withdrawing benefits if the ex-spouse hasn’t.
What If An Ex-Spouse is Deceased?
If your ex-spouse has died, conditions change.
If you’re 60 or older (or 50 and disabled), and your marriage lasted more than ten years, and you are unmarried you could be entitled to benefits. However, if you remarried after age 60 (or age 50 if disabled), you’re eligible even if married. Also, if your own Social Security benefit is more than what you could claim on your ex-spouse’s record you cannot receive additional benefits.
What About Children and Divorce Benefits in Oregon?
Suppose your ex-spouse is deceased, you were married for 10 years, and you are now unmarried. In that case, you may be entitled to benefits on your ex-spouse’s earnings record at any age if you’re providing care for the ex-spouse’s child, who is also your natural or legally adopted child and is younger than 16 or disabled. These benefits would continue until the child turns 16 or is no longer disabled.
In the case of multiple ex-spouses, all may be entitled to benefits. Social Security doesn’t have a particular stipulation based on who applies first. Simply said, if you meet the conditions, you may get benefits.
(The SSA outlines some further information about benefits here. Although the information is written towards females, it is applicable to those divorced regardless of gender.)
In any case, documentation will be vital to prove any claim successfully. Be prepared to show divorce documents, birth certificates, and marriage licenses.
Social Security is complicated enough. Adding ex-spouses, new marriages, and additional children to the equation can make things overwhelming. Call the knowledgeable Social Security claims team at Drew L. Johnson, P.C. today at (541) 434-6466 to schedule your free consultation and learn more about how we’ve helped Oregon residents earn what’s theirs.