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Am I entitled to a portion of my ex’s retirement?

You supported your spouse for many years, working to help put him through college and then forgoing your own education to raise the children and take care of the home. Now that your marriage has ended, you are having difficulty finding a place in the workforce. Understandably, you feel cheated out of a secure future, and you worry about retirement since you didn’t work long enough to contribute much to your Social Security retirement fund. You (like many other Missouri residents) may want to know if you can receive retirement benefits from your ex.

It may be a great relief to learn that in some cases, you can be eligible for half of your ex-spouse’s Social Security retirement or disability benefits. However, as the Social Security Administration explains, there are some requirements and restrictions, which include the following:

  • You must have been married at least 10 years.
  • Your ex-spouse needs to be eligible to receive retirement or disability benefits from Social Security.
  • You must be 62 years of age or older to begin receiving benefits from your ex’s Social Security retirement.
  • Your own retirement benefits, based on your lifetime employment, would need to be less than what you would receive with your share of your ex’s benefits.

What if my ex remarried, or if I remarry, you may wonder? If your ex-spouse remarries, you are still eligible to get a portion of his retirement, provided you meet the above qualifications. You would not be eligible for part of his retirement if you remarry; however, if this marriage ends – whether through divorce or death – you can receive retirement funds from your ex’s Social Security.

Learning that you may receive part of your ex’s retirement may lift a heavy financial burden from your shoulders. 

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