When you and your New York husband or wife divorce, you may have concerns about getting by financially without the help of your spouse. If you are nearing retirement age, you may feel especially worried about whether you are going to have enough available to you to maintain your current lifestyle once your split becomes final. However, after your divorce, you may, depending on circumstances, you may be able to collect Social Security retirement benefits using your former spouse’s work history.
According to CNBC, it may serve you well to collect Social Security benefits using your former spouse’s work record if doing so would enable you to collect more in monthly benefits than you could with your own record.
Who may collect a former spouse’s benefits
Your marriage must have lasted 10 years or longer for you to be able to get Social Security retirement benefits using your former spouse’s record. This is the main criteria for qualifying to do so. However, to collect these benefits using your spouse’s work record, he or she must have spent enough time working in a position covered by Social Security to qualify for these benefits in the first place.
How much you might collect in benefits
At most, you should be able to collect 50% of what your former spouse does in monthly benefits if you wait to collect them until you reach full retirement age.
It is worth noting that if you do choose to collect Social Security retirement benefits using your ex’s work history, rather than your own, your doing so does not reduce the amount your spouse is going to collect moving forward.