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Can I Get Alimony If My Ex Is on Disability?

divorce cut through marriage certificate
By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

Leaving a marriage is rarely an easy decision. And financial concerns can only complicate matters. In many marriages, one partner is the primary bread-winner, but that can change over time, especially if that bread-winner becomes disabled and can't work. And if your ex-spouse or soon-to-be ex is on disability insurance, can that affect your alimony or spousal support payments after a divorce?

Here's how to figure it out.

Disability and Alimony

For those receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, a divorce won't affect those payments. However, SSDI benefits may be garnished to pay child support or alimony following a divorce. And if you were receiving spousal SSDI benefits during your marriage, those payments will remain the same.

If your ex-spouse qualifies for SSDI benefits, you might be eligible to receive alimony or spousal support if:

  • You were married for ten years or more;
  • You are at least 62 years old;
  • You have not remarried; and
  • You are not eligible for a larger Social Security payment based on your own earnings record.

Disability, Divorce, and Death

Additionally, if your ex-spouse dies following the divorce, you may still be eligible to receive auxiliary benefits. Alimony or spousal support payments from SSDI benefits may continue if:

  • You were married for at least ten years;
  • You are at least 50 years old and disabled, or you are at least 60 years old;
  • You have not remarried; and
  • You are not eligible to receive a larger Social Security payment on your own earnings record.

Divorce can be difficult -- emotionally, legally, and financially. Make sure you have an experienced divorce attorney on your side if you are considering a divorce.

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