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Can I collect divorced-spousal Social Security benefits without my ex-spousal approval?

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Uploaded on May 26, 2011

Nearly half of all marriages end in divorce and some people have multiple divorces. One of the questions that I am frequently asked is "Can I collect divorced-spousal Social Security benefits without my ex-spousal approval?"
The simple answer is yes!
Let's see how this could work for you. You are entitled to divorced spousal benefits if:
If a wife and her husband have been married for more than 10 years before divorcing, she may qualify for spousal benefits based on her ex-husband's work record as long as she is at least 62 and still unmarried. If they have been divorced for at least two years, the ex- spouse (he needs to be 62 or older) does not need to apply for his benefits in order for her to receive hers.
 You are divorced and the marriage last at least 10 years.
 You have not remarried and are age 62 or older.
 You ex-spouse is at least 62
 If you ex-spouse has not applied for social security benefits you must be divorced for 2 years.
 Your divorced spousal benefits must be greater than your own benefits
 If you are receiving divorced-spousal benefits and remarry, the benefits stop. However, if you remarry and it divorced spouse #2(marriage less than 10 years) you can go back to collecting off the first ex-spouse.
 Generally, an ex-wife will have to wait one year to start collecting benefits from her new husband (he must be 62 or older). Except if she already receiving spousal-divorce benefits when she remarries, she can receive her new spousal benefits right away.
 If the ex- wife applies for divorced-spousal benefit at age 62, she will receive 35% of the husbands PIA (30% permanent reduction) and, her benefits would be subject to the earning limit.
 If the ex- wife applies for divorced-spousal benefit at age 66, she will receive 50% of the husbands PIA (Pro rata adjustments for benefits claimed between ages 62-66).


Next steps:
1. Read my episode notes for details
2. Go to sss.gov retirement tab/ enter divorced spouse in search box
3. Please go to your financial advisor and or a social security expert to review your options.
Thank you for taking the time to review the video and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Greenwich Financial Advisors, LLC is an Investment Adviser registered with the State of Connecticut.

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