Updated: Nov 13, 2021
Below are some of the misconceptions around Social Security benefits that may influence decisions around divorce or your retirement plan:
If my spouse dies, I get my benefit and also keep his/hers as a widow benefit
More than one spouse/ex-spouse can’t claim a Social Security benefit on a wage earner
I can't claim a benefit on my ex-spouse's earning record because I am divorced (not totally true, check out the social security rules)
An ex-spouse can’t claim a Social Security benefit on their previous spouse’s earning record who has remarried
I will receive a reduced benefit if she/he claims a benefit on my work record
"My ex-spouse will find out if I claim a Social Security benefit on his/her earning record"
If we divorce, I receive all of her/his Social Security benefit
If we divorce, I receive my own Social Security benefit as well as ½ of his/her benefit
I can’t claim Social Security benefit based on my former spouse’s earning record because it was disallowed in my divorce settlement
I can’t claim a Social Security benefit based on my ex-spouses earning record and let mine grow (See the tip in Claiming on an Ex-Spouse's Record in the article below)
If I remarry, I am eligible to claim benefits on my ex-spouse’s record (even as a survivor widow(er) benefit). Maybe/Maybe not - See exception rules on remarrying.
The wording can be misleading and there are some half-truths here, so to explore some of this further in a general sense, see full article "Everything You Need to Know About Social Security and Divorced Spousal Benefits"