When your Florida marriage runs its course and your spouse has always been the primary breadwinner, you may have concerns about what your future is going to look like without your former partner’s contributions. You may feel especially fearful about having enough money to get by in your later years if you did not work in a position that paid into Social Security and therefore do not qualify for Social Security retirement benefits based on your own work history.
However, CNBC reports that about 30% of Americans have no idea that they may be able to collect Social Security retirement benefits from the U.S. Social Security Administration using their former spouse’s earnings record.
What determines if you qualify
Whether you qualify for these benefits depends on how much time you worked in a role that paid into the nation’s Social Security program and how many “work credits” you compiled during that time. If you do not qualify, or if you qualify, but would only get a small amount in Social Security retirement benefits, you may want to use your former partner’s work history. To do so, your marriage to that party must have lasted 10 years or longer.
How this impacts your former spouse’s payments
If you decide to collect Social Security retirement benefits using an ex’s work history as opposed to your own, it does not reduce the amount he or she gets each month. So, your decision to do so should not be a point of contention between you.
Please note that remarrying someone else makes you ineligible to collect these benefits using a former spouse’s earnings history any longer.