The divorce rate continues to rise among older residents of New Jersey and the rest of the United States. Nowadays, adults between the ages of 55 and 64 are those likely to end their marriages. For this reason, retirement-related issues are becoming increasingly common in modern divorces, with many older adults fearful about having enough money to maintain their lifestyles once their relationships end.
According to CNBC, 30% of Americans have no idea that they may have the option of claiming Social Security retirement benefits under their ex-husband or ex-wife’s work record, as opposed to their own.
Who qualifies to do this
Whether someone is eligible for Social Security retirement benefits at all depends on their age and how long they spent working in a professional role that paid into the nation’s Social Security system. If one former spouse qualifies for these benefits and the other does not, the non-qualifying spouse may be able to collect “spousal benefits” based on his or her former partner’s earnings record. Whether he or she may do so depends on if the marriage between them lasted 10 years or more.
How much former spouses might collect using an ex’s work record
If you claim Social Security retirement benefits under your former partner’s earnings history, know that the amount you get each month is going to be less than how much he or she gets. The most you may get when you claim this spousal benefit is half of how much your ex does.
In the event that you also qualify for these benefits based on your own earnings record, it may be wise to do the math and determine whether you would get more each month using your own work history of your former spouse.