You or your ex may qualify for 50% of the other’s Social Security benefits once retired, even if your retirement takes place after the divorce. The guidelines and rules for eligibility are strict!  Here is the breakdown on how it works:

Who May Claim Social Security Benefits from an Ex?

To be eligible to file a claim:

  • You must have been married to them for at least 10 years and divorced for at least two years;
  • You must be unmarried when you file a claim;
  • You must be at least 62 years old;
  • Your former spouse must already be eligible to receive Social Security benefits; they need not have retired yet.

What Are Early and Full Retirement Ages?

  • Early retirement age is 62; benefit amounts are lower than if you wait to retire later.
  • If you were born from 1943 to 1954, your full retirement age is 66.
  • If you were born between 1955 and 1960, the full retirement age increases in monthly increments based on birth year. Use the Social Security Administration’s Retirement Age Calculator to determine when you will reach full retirement.
  • If you were born in 1960 or after, you become eligible for full retirement benefits at age 67.

How Much Can You Claim?

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), once you reach full retirement age, “The maximum benefit for the spouse is 50 percent of the benefit the worker would receive at full retirement age.” If you claim benefits before you or your ex reach full retirement age, you will receive less than 50 percent. Here’s a chart issued by SSA for additional details:  Full Retirement and Age 62 Benefit By Year Of Birth.

Keep in mind that you may claim either your own social security or a portion of your ex’s, but not both. You are entitled to a portion of your ex’s if is greater than your own.

How to See Your Own Benefits

Information regarding your accumulated Social Security benefits is available on the SSA website at Once you have registered for an account, you may verify your lifetime earnings and see estimated benefits based on when you would retire.

Learn more about claiming ex-spouse benefits by visiting this SSA information page. Trying to decide whether to claim benefits and need more guidance? Our experienced attorneys are here to help!With a combined 30 years in family law, the attorneys at Jones Family Law Group, LLC, will provide the legal guidance you need. Be sure to follow us on social media, including FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn. Share our articles with others! Contact Jones Family Law Group, LLC today for any questions or to set up a consultation.