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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13507
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Robert. My husband and I were married years, got divorced

Customer Question

Hi Robert. My husband and I were married for 7 years, got divorced for 4 years the got re-married for 14 years and are now going to another divorce. Do both marriages count in establishing the number of years we were married for spousal, alimony, and Social Security Benefits?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question, it is my pleasure to assist you. I am sorry to hear about your marriage.
Both marriages are not counted together for purposes of spousal support (alimony) and social security benefits, unfortunately.
With respect to Social Security benefits, as a divorced spouse you can collect benefits on your ex-spouse’s record, even if the ex-spouse has remarried and even if the ex-spouse’s new spouse is collecting on the same record.
But to get this benefit, you must meet the following requirements:
1) You were married for at least 10 straight years
2) You are at least 62 years old
3) Your ex-spouse is eligible for retirement benefits
4) You are currently unmarried
Thus, the first marriage wasn't long enough, at only seven years, but your second one is, because it lasted at least 10 straight years (you just have to meet all the other criteria to collect on his record).
As to spousal support, a divorce is the termination of a marriage, effective from the time that the court signs the order dissolving it. A remarriage, even though it was to the same person, is treated as a second or greater (a new) marriage. It's therefore possible for a spouse not to have received alimony in the first divorce, but due to a change in circumstances, to receive it now, or vice versa. However, when looking at the length of the marriage --which is just one of the factors a court looks at in determining whether either spouse is eligible for alimony -- they will base it off of the 14 years, and not 21 years, total.
If I may be of additional assistance, please use the REPLY feature, and I'll be happy to help you further. Thank you.