“I’ve been a stay-at-home Mom throughout the marriage. Do I get any Social Security retirement benefits if I get divorced?”
Even though you have not been in the workforce nor built up any Social Security retirement benefits of your own, you are entitled to Social Security retirement benefits if you were married at least 10 years as of the date of divorce. You must be at least 62 to claim these benefits, and your husband must be receiving, or entitled to, his own Social Security benefits. The amount you will receive is based upon your husband’s Social Security record and your age. Depending upon your age, you can anticipate that you will receive between 37% and 50% of the Social Security retirement benefit to which your husband is entitled. Whatever you are paid, however, will not change the amount your husband receives.
However, if you remarry and you are under the age of 60, generally, you cannot collect benefits based upon your ex-husband’s Social Security record until your later marriage ends by death, divorce, or annulment. If you remarry after age 60, you can collect benefits under your ex-husband’s Social Security record. When you reach 62, your retirement benefits can be based upon the Social Security record of your new husband, if those benefits are higher.
Joel H. Feldman is a Managing Member of the Law Office of Feldman & Schneiderman. He has been practicing law in south Florida for 24 years and is rated “AV” and “Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Publications.