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

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2022 | High-Asset Divorce |

Many people in New Jersey who were once married do not realize that they may be able to collect Social Security retirement benefits using the work records of their former partners. If you made sacrifices during your career so that your one-time spouse could further his or hers, collecting benefits using your ex’s record, rather than your own, may make financial sense.

However, CNBC reports that you have to meet certain eligibility terms to do so.

Who is eligible

If you want to collect Social Security retirement benefits based on the work history of your ex-husband or ex-wife, several things have to be true. First, your ex-spouse needed to have enough hours logged in a Social Security-covered position to qualify for these benefits. Second, your marriage to an individual with a sufficient enough work history had to last 10 years or longer.

How much you might get

If the above criteria hold true, the most you are going to be able to get each month using your ex’s record is half the amount he or she receives at full retirement age. Thus, it serves you well to figure out how much you might collect in these benefits using your work history, too. Then, you may figure out whether you collect more using your own record or your spouse’s and decide what makes the most sense.

Even if you do choose to collect these benefits using your ex’s work history, it does not impact your former partner. He or she collects the same monthly amount regardless of if you use your ex’s work history to collect your own benefits.