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Most people know that the Social Security Administration provides spousal benefits stemming from the primary breadwinner's work history. But what isn't as well understood is that these benefits don't necessarily end with a divorce.

To determine whether you qualify for spousal benefits from a prior marriage, there are six standards you need to satisfy.

  1. Your former spouse must be entitled to retirement or disability insurance benefits.
  2. You have filed an application for the divorced spouse's benefits.
  3. You are not entitled to a retirement or disability insurance benefit based on a primary insurance amount that equals or exceeds one-half the worker's primary insurance amount.
  4. You are at least 62 years old.
  5. You are not currently married.
  6. You were married to the worker for at least 10 years before the date the divorce became final.

As Motley Fool contributor John Maxfield expands on in the following video, so long as you meet these standards, then you're entitled to as much as 50% of your former spouse's primary insurance amount.

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