- If you are 62-plus, were married 10-plus years and are currently unmarried, and not entitled to receive a higher benefit based on your own work, you can receive Social Security benefits based on your ex's earnings, even if he or she remarried.
- If you both worked, generally the lower earner may receive benefits based on the higher earner's work.
- If you never worked, you can collect benefits on your ex's work, and your ex is still eligible to collect what he or she has earned over the years.
- If your ex hasn't yet applied, but qualifies for benefits, you can still receive benefits if you have been divorced two years.
- You can collect a divorced spouse's benefit without reducing the amount of your ex's benefit.
- The longer you can wait to collect divorced spousal benefits — up to your full retirement age — the higher your benefit will be.
For more information, call 1-800-772-1213 or go to aarp.org.
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Sally Abrahms, coauthor of What Every Woman Should Know About Divorce and Custody, writes about boomers and aging.