Does My Ex-Husband Have To File For His Benefits Before I Can File For Ex-Spousal Benefits?

Jan 16 2018 - 10:59am

My ex-husband turns 62 in May and I am hoping to begin collecting ex-spousal Social Security benefits at that point. I have been given conflicting statements about whether or not he needs to have filed for benefits before I can file for them. Is it necessary that my ex has filed for his SS benefits before I can file for ex-spousal benefits? (We were married for 24 years and I am not remarried.) Thank you for your help
Wendy

Hi Wendy,

As long as your divorce has been final for at least 2 years, then it isn't necessary for your ex-husband to be drawing his benefits in order for you to potentially qualify for divorced spousal benefits. He does have to be at least age 62 if he isn't drawing, though. In addition, you must be unmarried and be at least age 62 to potentially qualify for divorced spousal benefits, and your benefit rate will be reduced if you elect to start drawing prior to your full retirement age.

You may want to consider using our maximization software in order to determine your best filing strategy, especially if you are also insured for benefits on your own work record.

Best, Jerry