It is not uncommon for individuals to claim social security benefits from their spouse's work history instead of their own if their spouse's benefits are higher or if that person did not work long enough to be eligible for their own benefits. If a couple divorces, a person's ability to claim social security benefits and survivor's benefits on a former partner's work history changes, and in some cases, they may not be able to collect these benefits at all.
There are restrictions that someone must meet before they can collect social security benefits after a divorce. For example, a person must have been married for at least a decade. In addition, they must not have remarried, unless the marriage occurred after they reached the age of 60. Someone who is caring for a child who is disabled or under the age of 16 might also be allowed to claim benefits without meeting the other eligibility requirements. In these cases, marriage length only applies to survivor's benefits.
When an individual is claiming spousal social security benefits after a divorce, they do not have to wait for their spouse to begin claiming benefits. As long as a former spouse is at least 62 years of age, their former partner may begin to collect benefits whenever they want.
When people think about topics related to divorce, they usually focus on things like child support and custody, spousal support and asset division. However, there are a variety of other important topics, such as in the case of social security benefits, that individuals ending their marriage may not consider. A lawyer could help someone understand how issues decided during a divorce may affect their lives and represent them in a courtroom or during negotiations.