Am I allowed to collect alimony payments from my husbands social security?

Asked over 1 year ago - Sacramento, CA

I worked for my husband for sixteen years and never took a paycheck. If the judge awards me alimony for life, can I collect some of it from my husbands social security?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Brian S Wayson

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . Maybe not as alimony directly, but there may be ways for you to receive benefits on your ex-spouse's Social Security earnings account.

    Social Security is a federal program, so the rules are supposed to apply the same in each state.

    So for Social Security benefits purposes, a divorced spouse can collect benefits on the account of the ex-spouse. At most, your benefit will be 50% of what your ex-spouse would receive at their full retirement age, if this amount is larger than what you could receive based on your own work record.

    If you are divorced, but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you can receive benefits on your ex-spouse's record (even if he or she has remarried). You must also meet the following criteria: You are currently unmarried and you are at least age 62.

    (There are exceptions to the criteria above if your ex-spouse is deceased.)

    And, then if you are awarded spousal support and there are payment issues for that support then...

    The Social Security system limits the garnishment amount to the lesser of the State maximum or the maximum under the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) (15 U.S.C. 1673(b)) and is based on the law of the State where the beneficiary resides. Hereafter, the CCPA limit is referred to as the “Federal” limit. The CCPA limits garnishment to:

    50%, if the beneficiary is supporting a spouse and/or child other than the spouse and/or child whose support has been ordered.

    60%, if the beneficiary is not supporting another spouse and/or child.

    55% or 65% respectively, if the garnishment order or other evidence submitted indicates the original support ordered is 12 or more weeks in arrears.

    NOTE: SSI (Supplemental Security Income) payments are not subject to garnishment.

    Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice,... more
  2. William Antoine Hannosh

    Contributor Level 8

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    Answered . Not likely.

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