Social Security Questions? Ask a Social Security Expert
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I'm a CPA and valuation professional with 30 years of professional experience, including divorce settlements.
There are two questions. The first is whether you can possibly be entitled to survivor benefits given your track record of support, and given that Hawaii requires a marriage license. The answer to this first question is no. At the present time, there aren't even any bills in Hawaii that would propose to change this. The second question is whether or not the ex-husband would be entitled. I will respond to that in a moment.
The answer to the second question it, it depends on a lot of things, including how long they were married, how old the ex is, and other factors. Moreover, if the ex is currently receiving benefits, they may be reduced such that any benefit of receiving a survivor benefit is nullified.
There is one more thing to consider. If there were court decisions made against the ex, they may have included provisions about future finances. You could research these in the public record and make SSA aware of them, if they exist.
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