Can you collect Social Security using an ex-spouse’s work record?

On Behalf of | May 25, 2022 | Divorce

Many people across Texas sacrifice their own schooling or professional development for the sake of their families. If you are among them, you may have concerns about what retirement is going to look like if your marriage ends in a divorce. What many people facing similar circumstances do not realize is that they may, if they qualify, be able to collect Social Security retirement benefits using the work history of an ex-husband or ex-wife, rather than their own work history.

According to CNBC, whether you are eligible to obtain these benefits using the earnings record of your former husband or wife depends on the duration of your Texas marriage, among other variables.

Understanding eligibility factors

To be able to get Social Security retirement benefits at all, your former spouse has to have a significant enough work history in a position or positions covered by Social Security. He or she also has to be old enough to collect these benefits. For you to be able to collect benefits using your ex’s work history, your marriage to this person must have lasted, at minimum, 10 years.

Understanding your options

Even if you qualify for Social Security retirement benefits based on your ex’s record, this may not be your most favorable option. If you also qualify for these retirement benefits based on your own work history, find out how much you would collect in doing so. If you obtain these benefits based on the earnings history of your former spouse, the maximum amount you might get per month is half of how much he or she gets.

Should you decide to collect Social Security retirement benefits using your former partner’s work history, he or she should not take issue with it. Your doing so has no impact on how much your ex-spouse collects in these benefits each month.

FindLaw Network