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SS from ex spouse
Old 08-27-2013, 08:55 PM   #1
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SS from ex spouse

I realize that a person may collect SS based on the ex-spouse's record under certain condition.

I also realize that if the person chooses to remarry, he cannot collect on his ex-spouses record under most conditions.

Suppose Jim finds that he can collect under his ex's (Sue) record and gets an additional $500 a month doing that over what he would get from his own SS benefit.

He marries his new gf, Jane, and can no longer collect on Sue's SS record so he starts collecting his own benefit, $500 a month less. A few year's later Jane divorces him so she can run off to Fiji with her young, studly Pilates instructor.

Can Jim go back to collecting on his first wife's (Sue) record? Or, did he permanently give that up when he remarried?
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:14 PM   #2
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According to this:
Qualifying for divorced spouse benefits

Quote:
Generally, we cannot pay benefits if the divorced spouse remarries someone other than the former spouse, unless the latter marriage ends (whether by death, divorce, or annulment), or the marriage is to a person entitled to certain types of Social Security auxiliary or survivor's benefits.
It looks like Jim can go back to collecting on Sue's record after the divorce.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:09 AM   #3
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And all this time I thought she'd run off with Raul, the pool-boy.

Hopefully, this is not your real-life situation.
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:35 AM   #4
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Whenever you want to be really sure about a Social Security question, I think it's best to head right to Part 404 of the CFR, which lays out the actual Social Security-related law:
Code of Federal Regulations, Part404

404.331 gives the requirements for benefits as an ex-spouse:
Code of Federal Regulations 404.331

Of note, the requirement is simply that you are (present tense) not married. So, as long as marriage #2 has ended, you've met that requirement.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:31 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by 2B View Post
And all this time I thought she'd run off with Raul, the pool-boy.

Hopefully, this is not your real-life situation.
Probably just another human interest article on a slow news day.

Ha
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:04 PM   #6
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Here is another thing to think about...

One of my sisters was married to someone for 11 years... got divorced...

Remarried for 35 years...

Now, she received a spousal benefit from her second marriage.... then BIL died... so she is receiving the benefits of second husband...

But, when first husband dies, she will be able to get her SS increased because his death benefits are better than second husband....
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B View Post
And all this time I thought she'd run off with Raul, the pool-boy.

Hopefully, this is not your real-life situation.
I am not saying it is true, but if it was true the Pilates instructor would have two kids who were spoiled hellions, an ex-wife out for vengeance and with a bulldog for a lawyer/boyfriend, and several unpaid creditors named Guido, Bruno, and Boris.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:46 PM   #8
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Sounds like a Dave Barry novel and a CPA's dream.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
I realize that a person may collect SS based on the ex-spouse's record under certain condition.

I also realize that if the person chooses to remarry, he cannot collect on his ex-spouses record under most conditions.

Suppose Jim finds that he can collect under his ex's (Sue) record and gets an additional $500 a month doing that over what he would get from his own SS benefit.

He marries his new gf, Jane, and can no longer collect on Sue's SS record so he starts collecting his own benefit, $500 a month less. A few year's later Jane divorces him so she can run off to Fiji with her young, studly Pilates instructor.

Can Jim go back to collecting on his first wife's (Sue) record? Or, did he permanently give that up when he remarried?
Yes, I think.

Because if Jim was married to Jane for more than 10 years as well, he would have his choice of Jane's or Sue's benefit.

I would also look up "claim and suspend", because the spousal benefit is only 50% of the full benefit, available when both spouses are 62. Consider claiming and suspending your own benefit (from age 62 to age 70) collecting the spousal benefit, then at age 70 collecting the higher benefit on yourself.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:54 AM   #10
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Hmm... I hadn't thought about claim and suspend, but I will look into that.

Thanks.
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