Due to precautions related to COVID-19, we have expanded our options for remote consultations. Please contact our office to discuss whether a full phone consultation or video conference is appropriate for your situation.

Serving Families In The Bluegrass Since 1993.

Putting You At Ease, Protecting Your Rights

Can I get Social Security benefits after my divorce?

| Feb 23, 2021 | Divorce

For many people in Kentucky, life after divorce can be a lot different — and even better — than before. However, getting one’s post-divorce finances in order can be a challenge. Those who are close to retirement may not even realize that they can take Social Security benefits into account, and that they can possibly draw benefits based on an ex’s work history.

Qualifying for benefits

It is possible to draw Social Security benefits based on either one’s own work record or an ex’s record. Ultimately, it comes down to whichever is the higher amount. Someone can qualify for benefits based on an ex’s record if:

  • The marriage lasted 10 or more years
  • Two years have passed since the divorce was finalized
  • The individual has not remarried

However, certain myths might make some feel hesitant about drawing these benefits. For example, a survey from Dec. 2020 found that more than 50% of adults think that drawing on an ex’s work record will reduce that person’s benefits. This is not true, but it is easy to see how some might feel hesitant to rely on much needed benefits if they believe that they are also harming their ex-spouse’s financial stability.

It is not uncommon for one spouse to either take reduced work loads or even leave the workforce entirely during a marriage. This is often done for practical reasons, such as to raise for children or care for aging loved ones. However, it can certainly complicate one’s financial situation should marriage end in divorce. This is why it is so important to fully explore one’s options for things like alimony, Social Security benefits and other financial factors when considering the future after divorce.