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How Social Security Works for Divorced Spouses

Social Security is an important part of the financial plans that Americans set up for their retirement years. But many don't know how divorce affects the benefits they're entitled to collect.

In the following video, Fool contributor Dan Caplinger looks at situations in which divorced spouses can collect benefits based on an ex-spouse's work record. Dan notes that although the rules are different depending on whether your ex is still living or has passed away, there are certain common elements to both situations. Dan also looks at the different ways in which remarrying can affect your ability to collect benefits based on an ex-spouse's work history.

Social Security plays a key role in your financial security, and with millions of Americans relying primarily on the government program for their retirement income, it's more important than ever for you to make the most of the Social Security benefits you have coming to you. In our brand-new free report, "Make Social Security Work Harder For You," our retirement experts give their insight on making the key decisions that will help you boost your monthly benefits and ensure a more comfortable retirement for you and your family. The report is absolutely free, so click here to get your copy today.


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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2013, at 12:47 PM, jedeye1 wrote:

    What happens if your spouse in on SS Disability and you divorce him? We have been married 20 years but we are getting divorced. Are there any type of benefit I can get to help with the new life

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2013, at 5:38 PM, quick51 wrote:

    I just sign up for ss was married for 30 years and they said I couldn't get any of his benefits why in that the way it is in Wisconsin?

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 1:02 AM, Merri88 wrote:

    What if you were married 10 years, divorced, then years later re-married, but that was annulled within weeks? Does the annulment literally expunge that history?? Thanks.

  • Report this Comment On July 09, 2013, at 9:06 PM, magdolinwin wrote:

    I was married 19 years. My ex husband passed away but we had a disabled child with cerebal palsy. I applied for survivors benifits for her, but when I inquried about myself they said i would owe them money for one year and then i could collect. He would not tell me why I would owe them money for the first year. I do have IHSS benifits for her, is this why i would owe money to them? I cannot work as our daughrter is total care.

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Dan Caplinger
TMFGalagan

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

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