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San Diego Family Mediation Center

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Social Security and Divorce

This is an issue often overlooked when divorcing. You do have options when you get divorced…and if you have several ex-spouses you have several options…odd, but true. So here is how it goes.

Spouse A (Wife) and Spouse B (Husband #1) are married for 10 years or more and then they get divorced,
Spouse A then remarries Spouse C (Husband #2). Now, after 10 years Spouse A and Spouse C divorce.
Now, Spouse A is eligible for social security and as long as the following criteria are met, Spouse A can choose to take her own social security, half of Spouse B’s social security or half of Spouse C’s social security, whichever is more.

The following criteria must be met:
1. Husband* is entitled to receive social security benefits;
2. The Wife is not married;
3. Wife is age 62 or over;
4. The wife is not entitled to a social security benefit based on her own record, which equals or exceeds one-half of the husband’s benefit.

If wife takes 1/2 of an ex-husbnad’s retirement, the amount husband receives is not affected. For example, if Husband was to recieve $600 per month and Wife took half ($300 per month) Husband still receives $600 per month.

*Husband is being used as an example, however, Wife could be the higher earner.