How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Stephanie O Joy, Esq Your Own Question
Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13478
Experience:  19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
10805288
Type Your Social Security Question Here...
Stephanie O Joy, Esq is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was married to same man twice and Social Security told me

Resolved Question:

I was married to same man twice and Social Security told me they would piggy-back the years I was married to him and I would qualify for ex-spouce retirement. Is this true?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 5 years ago.
*Due to rules of your state bar or mine, nothing herein is intended as legal advice, only intended as general information to better help yourself.

Did you divorce him twice? How many years married to him each time?
Expert:  Guests replied 5 years ago.
first marriage 4 years then divorced reunited lived as common law for 3 years then remarried for 7 years then divorced ny state
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 5 years ago.
Hi,

It may be true, IF you were legally married (common law or otherwise, but it must be legal common law marriage) for all of the 10 years prior to that last divorce. This site explains it well:

"You had been married to the worker for at least ten years immediately before the divorce became final. This requirement is met even if this period was interrupted by a prior divorce from the same spouse, provided the remarriage took place in the calendar year of the divorce or the calendar year immediately following. The marriage must be in existence in each of the 10 years before the divorce in order for the claimant to be entitled. You may also qualify based on a 10-year marriage immediately before a prior divorce." http://socialsecuritybenefitshandbook.com/page6.html#204.3

However, you may not meet the above, if your purported common law marriage was in NY - this is because NY does not allow for the creation of a common law marriage within NY. The SSA will then only find a valid common law marriage if it was a common law marriage recognized by the state in question. You say:

first marriage 4 years then divorced reunited lived as common law for 3 years then remarried for 7 years then divorced ny state

If these "common law" marriage yeas occurred in NY, you were likely not married at all in those years. Therefore when you got divorced the second time, you had 7 years of marriage during the 10 years immediately preceding that divorce, not the requisite 10, I am afraid. However, if you weren't in NY but had, say, moved to TEXAS during those three years, it could be possible to meet this requirement, since TX does allow for the creation of a common law marriage within its borders.

I hope this helps clarify for you.

Because I help people like you here, for a living---this is not a hobby for me---I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX abiding by the honor system with regard to Accepting answers, by Clicking your ACCEPT button now. Feel free to follow up after, if you need clarification. An ACCEPT also assures that I can assist you again. A BONUS is a wonderful way to tell the expert her time and effort are appreciated. I wish you the best in your future.

Stephanie O Joy, Esq and other Social Security Specialists are ready to help you