A lot of uncertainty can come with any divorce. It can leave you with many questions about what your future will look like when you’re no longer married. This can be particularly true for a spouse who spent all or most of their marriage as a stay-at-home spouse. And if you’re an older person approaching retirement age, whether you can receive social security benefits may be foremost on your mind.
Benefits for stay-at-home spouses
If you spent little to no time working outside of the home and drawing a paycheck, you can still draw social security when you retire. If your marriage lasted longer than 10 years, you will be eligible for benefits when you turn 62 years old. The age of your ex-spouse does not matter – so long as they have worked enough to qualify for benefits, so will you.
If you worked outside the home at some point during your life and qualify for benefits on your own, social security will pay those benefits first. But if your ex-spouse’s benefits are higher than your own, social security may also pay the difference.
The amount you receive is based on the age at which you elect to begin receiving social security benefits. The earlier you take them, the less you will get. But assuming you wait until full retirement age to apply for benefits, you will receive 50% of the amount your ex-spouse would be eligible for.
If you remarry, you will still be eligible to draw social security based upon your ex-spouse’s benefits.