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Collecting Social Security benefits as a divorcee

Age, children and the length of marriage affect whether Virginia divorcees are able to collect Social Security benefits from their ex-spouses. While each marital situation is unique, there may be a possibility for stay-at-home parental former spouses, working ex-spouses, singles and newly married ex-spouses to still have the right to benefits from a former significant other.

A recent report states that generally people who have been married for 10 years or longer have a right to claim spousal benefits. However, those who have been married for less than 10 years may not have the same option.

For divorcees whose ex-spouses have passed away, they may be eligible for Social Security benefits for a marriage that lasted a decade or more. There is a possibility that the ex-spouse must remain single in order to collect, depending on their current situation.

Children could bend the 10-year stance on collecting Social Security benefits. For an ex-spouse who is taking care of a biological child of both parents, whether deceased or still living, the living parent may be eligible for Social Security benefits. The 10-year rule may also be dismissed for the parent of a disabled child.

Ex-spouses who are hesitant to re-marry may not need to be as concerned. After a year of marriage, they'll be eligible for spousal benefits with their new spouse. If someone remarries before the age of 60, the rules above apply. However, those who remarry after the age of 60 may not lose Social Security benefits from their ex-spouse and could possibly collect a higher amount from the new spouse's benefits, too. As long as the ex-spouse is 62 or older, divorcees can claim Social Security benefits at any time regardless of whether the former marital partner has filed for retirement benefits.

Newly divorced people, newly married people and single divorcees may want to seek legal advice on Social Security benefits. Attorneys may be able to advise them on the Social Security laws within their state.

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