Could I Draw Benefits Off Of My First Spouse If I Divorce My Second Spouse?

Mar 30 2018 - 7:41am

i WAS MARRIED 21 YEARS TO MY FIRST SPOUSE HE DIED IN DECEMBER i REMARRIED AND HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR AT LEAST 20. I HAVEN'T LIVED WITH MY SECOND SPOUSE FOR THE LAST 4 YEARS. IF I DIVORCE MY SECOND SPOUSE CAN I DRAW BENEFITS OFF OF THE FIRST SPOUSE. MY SECOND SPOUSE WAS YOUNGER THAN ME AND I WOULDN'T DRAW HALF THE AMOUNT THAT WOULD COME FROM MY FIRST SPOUSE.

Hi,

Yes, assuming that you meet the other requirements for entitlement to surviving divorced spousal benefits (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.04/handbook-0403.html). Basically, in addition to being unmarried (or remarried after age 60) you would need to be at least age 60 (or age 50 and disabled), and your first husband would need to have worked and paid into Social Security long enough to be insured. Also, you could only receive survivor benefits if you aren't already drawing a higher benefit rate on your own record.

Best, Jerry