Divorced spouses also may be eligible to collect Social Security retirement benefits based on their ex-spouse’s work record. The divorced spouse is generally eligible to collect benefits if the divorced spouse:
- is sixty-two or older,
- is unmarried,
- was married to the worker for at least ten years, and
- is not entitled to benefits, on own or other account, that exceed one-half the worker’s primary benefit amount.
The wage earning spouse doesn’t have to be retired and actually drawing benefits; he or she iust has to be eligible for retirement benefits.
The impact of divorce on Social Security retirement benefits is very different From its impact on pension benefits. A worker with a pension is eligible for a certain amount of money in benefits. If a court orders these benefits split between the parties, the worker’s share will go down.