Financial implications of divorce after 30 years

I’m in such a very unhappy marriage, and I feel my husband wants a divorce. My question is: if we divorce, will I receive his social security benefits upon his death? And if he remarries, I’m assuming his 2nd wife would receive the benefits. Am I correct in this assumption? We have been married 30 years, and have both worked. I’d be so appreciative of any help you can give me about these questions.

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6 Responses

  1. Generic Image lavender2 says

    Dear Betty,
    I’ve done some research on SS.  You do not have to wait until he dies to collect his SS.  First, you must have been married for 10 years to be eligible for collect.
    Secondly, you don’t have to wait until he dies.  You can apply and begin receiving after you have been divorced for 2 years and have reached a certain age which I think might be 60 or 62.  I believe you spouse has to be a certain age, but it’s much younger than you would think.
    I’m sorry I don’t remember all of the details.  I don’t think your spouse even has to be retired for you to collect.  But the amount you can collect will be affected by if he has reached full retirement age.
    I am 64, my “ex” is 61, so I knew I met all of the qualifications to collect.  I think checking out the above site will be helpful.  Also, when you start collecting his, it does not lower or in any way impact what he can collect.

    1 like

  2. Generic Image Makenna says

    Who really wins in a gray divorce? He? She? NEITHER! The real winners in a gray divorce are Social Security, the corporations for which we and/or our spouses have worked for decades to build pensions and 401k’s and the healthcare companies. My IQ is off the charts. I thought I’d done all the right research. I’d contributed to my family’s income throughout our entire 38-year marriage. I’d provided my family with what was purported to be the best benefit package on Planet Earth, provided by what was once the largest and most powerful corporation on said planet, until it declared bankruptcy and stripped its salaried retirees on Medicare of all healthcare benefits. That’s when my poor, beleaguered hubby had to shoulder the burden of supplying our family’s group healthcare benefits, just about three whole years ago. I’m dependent on him now for my healthcare insurance. But the moment we are divorced I am no longer eligible for any of his benefits. I am also no longer eligible for surviving spouse or spousal benefits under his or any other pension program. And vice-versa. And as two single people in America the moment we die, our social security goes “POOF.” All these years of feeding the beast mean zip. But the most significant loss to any of us at our age is our loss of our healthcare benefits. Think about this. Please. Think very long. And think very hard. Without healthcare benefits I picture myself as the old lady cound dead on the couch with the dried up can of catfood because I couldn’t afford medical care. And there’s another little issue to consider. I supported and out-earned my husband for years. But I’m retired now and my healthy inheritance from my mother and top credit score don’t qualify for a decent mortgage because my retirement income is too low. The bank suggested I pay cash for a home, depleting my savings which will expose my future to further risk. But nothing outweighs the loss of group healthcare benefits. Forget COBRA. They call it COBRA because it lies like the useless snake in the grass it is, sucking you dry with its outrageous premiums until you need it; then it strikes you dead with unexpected bills. We put our son on COBRA. One evening in the ER and one night in the hospital for a minor issue on a very healthy 26 year old, ended up costing over $1,800 out of pocket. Now try equating that to cancer or heart disease at our age. And the Medicare supplemental programs aren’t much better than COBRA. Even if we decided to split with a legal separation as a manipulative method of getting his big company to allow me to remain on his benefits and to maintain surviving-spouse and spousal status, there’s no guarantee they won’t change their minds as soon as the ink dries. Companies everywhere are looking for any excuse they can find to drop us from their healthcare roles because we’re expensive drags on their precious bottom lines. My supposedly bankrupt corporation with its empires in China and Russia and Brazil, didn’t kill healthcare benefits for its salaried retirees on Medicare to climb out of the red. The salaried retirees are too small in number to make any kind of impact. They killed our benefits because we are unrepresented. They did it because they COULD. And that’s what woukd ultimately happen if I accepted a legal separation from my husband as a ploy to remain on his benefits. Eventually his company and all others will just change their minds and strip us of healthcare and all other spousal benefits. Someone should have warned me about this! Someone should be screaming about this because the gray divorce — which is a horribly demeaning term all by itself — is increasing in popularity every day. My advice is this: STOP AND THINK! We’ve worked our entire lives for these rusty “golden” years. We are supposed to enjoy the freedom to travel and relax. We have been with our spouses for so long, some of us can’t stand the way shuffle down the hall or blow their noses. So split!! Go your separate ways. Sell the house. Get two condos. Split the money. Have a lawyer draw up a business contract that cuts financial ties. But don’t give up the rights and security to which you’re entitled. Unless one of you wants to remarry, there’s no need for a divorce. I’m a about to fire my second useless lawyer; I’ve never laid eyes on the judge, and I’m out over $16,000 in excessive attorney fees I can’t find the strength to fight. My husband, the man I supported for years and showered with the security of healthcare, arrogantly told me he advised his lawyer he’s willing to give me COBRA. He was even stupid enough to brag that he’d pay the premium for a couple years. I told him unless he hits the Lotto, we’ll be married for a very long time, because I’m only willing to settle for a replica of the group benefits I currently have, which I’ve costed out at a premium of roughly $4,000/month.

    7 like

    • Generic Image Makenna says

      I have to correct my post… I was (Thankfully!) wrong about Social Security benefits for an ex-spouse. Instead of relying on one source, I did some deeper digging today. The ex-spouse SS benefit and the ex-spouse survivor benefit appear to provide similar benefits as those afforded a married spouse. I’m not going to quote it bc there are contributing factors to consider. But I was glad to see that I might be able to hang on to a little something. Sorry for the misleading info earlier.

      1 like

    • Generic Image doggiediva says

      Basically you are referring to a post nup agreement? I am in a position where I want to divorce my husband, but can’t..He is a liar, cheat and a bum..The divorce laws in our state work for him as a stay at home spouse, but not for me as the breadwinner spouse..I am already retired, my pension barely supports us as is.. As much as possible all of our finances are separate..My pension check goes to my personal account which he can’t access..I am not the primary user on our 2 credit cards, the CC bill gets sent out in his name..There is no way I would give up a portion of my pension in a divorce settlement..So, my dilemma is that I want to physically split from my husband without letting his dead,greedy and selfish weight ruin me financially..He has no pension or savings …I have no romantic interests at this time and don’t see myself remarrying in the future..I can’t say the same for him however…

      1 like

  3. Generic Image kat58 says

    In NY, after being married at least 10 years, the ex-spouse is entitled to half of the higher earning spouse’s social security.  I’m pretty sure I cannot collect on it until he retires, I may be wrong on this part, or it may be different in other states.  But he will get his full amount of social security, and I will get half that amount.  If he remarries and is married to someone else for at least 10 years, and they get a divorce, she will also be eligible for half of the amount that he gets.

    1 like

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