Will Entering Into A Domestic Partnership Prevent Me From Being Eligible For Divorced Spousal Benefits?

Jul 22 2018 - 7:34am

I’m 62 and divorced for 12 years now after 25 years of marriage. My x husbands SS is 2400:00 per month he is at FRA. Mine at FRA is $800.00 at 66 and 2 months. Can I enter into a legal domestic partnership with my boyfriend in California (which requires filing a joint tax return) and be able to collect on my x-husbands benefit at my RFA? My boyfriend has no SS benefits nor will he have any. I am very much am in need of the extra $400.00 a month I will receive from my x husbands ecord. We worked together for 25 years and he told me I had to work for free without a paycheck because we were not going to pay payroll taxes on my check and we would have his social security to live on. Amazing how he changed and he now enjoys his FRA at 2400 per month and so little was paid into my record to avoid paying taxes on my labor. This was legal because I was just a wife. Please advise me because I need health insurance but I cannot afford to lose my x husbands benefits. Thanks so much for your reply in advance it is deeply appreciated.

Hi Maria,

I don't believe that entering into a domestic partnership would bar you from being able to draw divorced spousal benefits on your former husband's account, but I can't be 100% sure. Social Security regulations simply state that you must be unmarried in order to be eligible for divorced spousal benefits. Those regulations predate legal relationships such as civil unions and domestic partnerships, though.

As far as I know, Social Security would not consider your domestic partnership as a legal marriage for purposes of barring entitlement to divorced spousal benefits. However, you may want to check with Social Security or consult an attorney to be certain.

Best, Jerry