Social Security: Will a Past Divorce Come Back to Haunt You With Lower Family Benefits?

If you're divorced and you've read about the Social Security program, then you likely know that your ex-spouse may be entitled to benefits stemming from your work history. But will this affect how much your current family receives? Fortunately, the answer is "no."

Under the Social Security system, a retired worker's family isn't only entitled to the worker's monthly benefits; they're also entitled to benefits of their own.

In the first case, a current spouse can receive up to 50% of the primary beneficiary's benefits depending on when he or she decides to receive them. On top of this, a retired worker's children may also qualify, assuming they're unmarried and under age 18.

The catch in all of this is that the Social Security Administration caps the amount a household can receive at between 150% and 180% of the retired worker's primary insurance amount (this is the amount you get at 66).

With this in mind, you'd be excused for concluding that an ex-spouse's benefits will be factored into this analysis. But as Motley Fool contributor John Maxfield explains in the following video, this fortunately isn't the case.

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The article Social Security: Will a Past Divorce Come Back to Haunt You With Lower Family Benefits? originally appeared on

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