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Can I get retirement benefits from my ex-spouse?

If you supported your ex while he or she was going through college, and then stayed home to raise the children during your marriage, it’s understandable that you would feel cheated now that you are divorced and you can’t look forward to a secure retirement. You and other Illinois residents may wonder what to do now that retirement benefits seem to be off the table.

As you may know, Social Security retirement works when a portion of your paycheck has been put in your retirement fund throughout your years of employment. You might have a modest amount saved from a part-time job or while you worked before starting your family, but this isn’t nearly enough to get you through your golden years. However, your ex had a good job throughout your marriage, and you know he or she contributed a great deal toward retirement. As the Social Security Administration explains, you might be eligible to receive half of your ex’s retirement or disability benefits if you meet the following requirements:

  • You were married 10 years or longer.
  • The retirement benefits from your own work would be less than what you would get from your ex’s benefits.
  • You are at least 62 years of age before you seek retirement benefits from your ex’s account.

However, you would not be eligible to receive a portion of your ex-spouse’s Social Security if you remarried, unless your subsequent marriage ended in divorce or death. If your ex has remarried, you may still receive half of his or her benefits, provided you meet the other requirements. Since this topic is complicated, this information is not meant as legal advice.

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900 North Shore Drive Suite 185
Lake Bluff, IL 60044

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