How long must I be married to get my ex’s Social Security?


Q. How long do you have to be married to an ex-spouse to draw their Social Security?
— Divorced

A. Married couples have several options for Social Security benefits that are not available to single people. And when you divorce, more rules kick in.

The Social Security Administration requires that you be married for 10 years or more in order to collect a benefit against your ex -spouse’s employment record, said Steven Gallo, a certified public accountant and personal financial specialist with U.S. Financial Services in Fairfield.

Also, your ex-spouse must be eligible to collect Social Security at the time of your claim, he said.

“In addition, you must be at least 62 years of age, be unmarried at the time of your claim and your own benefit must be lower than the benefit for which you are eligible from your ex-spouse’s employment record,” Gallo said.

Plus, you must be divorced for at least two continuous years, he said.

“Any benefits paid to you in no way affects the benefits paid to your ex-spouse or their current spouse,” he said. “If you were born before Jan. 1, 1954, some additional rules may apply.”

Email your questions to moc.p1606791118leHye1606791118noMJN1606791118@ksA1606791118.

This story was originally published on May 8, 2020. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.