Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration

What is the effect of violating State-imposed restrictions on remarriage?

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

309. What is the effect of violating State-imposed restrictions on remarriage?

The status of your remarriage following a divorce is affected under the following conditions:

  1. If you remarry before a judgment or an interlocutory divorce decree that dissolves your prior marriage becomes final, your remarriage is generally void in all States;

  2. If a State imposes a restriction against remarriage after a final divorce and you remarry in that State in violation of its restriction, generally that State considers your remarriage void; or

  3. If you remarry in another State, your remarriage is generally considered valid in all States unless:

    1. The State where you either obtained the divorce or got remarried denies recognition of a marriage by a party who goes to another State in order to avoid the restrictions; or

    2. The State where you got remarried prohibits marriages of residents of other States that would be void if the marriage took place in the your home State.

Last Revised: Feb. 6, 2003

Sponsored Links

Sponsored Links

There are 14 Comments

I am 68 amd on social security benefits mostly from my husbands work records. If I remarry, is there an effect on my social security?

It's not clear if you're a surviving spouse or if your marriage ended in divorce.

For survivor (widow's) benefits, remarriage after age 60 (or age 50 if you are disabled) will not prevent you from getting benefit payments based on your former spouse's work record. And at age 62 or older, you may get benefits based on your new spouse's work, if those benefits would be higher.

For divorced spouse benefits, generally, the SSA cannot pay benefits if the divorced spouse remarries someone other than the former spouse, unless the latter marriage ends (whether by death, divorce, or annulment), or the marriage is to a person entitled to certain types of Social Security auxiliary or survivor's benefits.

I was married to my 2nd wife for 4 years. I married again for 19 years, and again for 15 years. I’m now 65 and wish to remarry my 2nd wife again. Who will be eligible for my SS benefits?

There may be some missing details in your description, but it's likely your third and fourth wife will qualify for retirement benefits on your record if they don't remarry and are at least age 62.

If there is a divorced spouse who qualifies for benefits, it will not affect the amount of benefits you or your family may receive.

As far as your prospective new wife, she likely will qualify for benefits as your spouse. For some benefits (survivor I believe), you must be married a minimum time (few months), but I did not see a minimum time for spousal retirement benefits.

However, a spouse cannot begin receiving benefits before you.

Please contact the SSA directly for your particular case.

I have received my SS since I retired at 66. Will my benefit reduces if I get marry to a man who is 12 younger?
I have a house in KS. Will it be illegal to live with my partner and receive the SS benefit?

First, it's important to verify that you're receiving "normal" Social Security and not SSI. SSI is meant for low-income folks and has strict eligibility rules. If you're receiving SSI and marry, it may affect your SSI benefit.

But if you're receiving "normal" Social Security retirement benefits, marriage should not affect your Social Security benefit.

Please give me a general idea if I am eligible for former spouse benefits based on the following, also, I have been married 3 times, one of whom recently passed, but if I am eligible for this one, and my current spouse passes later on, is that benefit 'transferrable' or in other words, can I drop one and add the other? I know this sounds pretty cold, but I wanted to ask the question. So here is my situation:

I was married to spouse #2 for 20 years. He collected Social Security. I remarried after age 60 to my current spouse who also collects Social Security. I, myself, am not elegible for Social Security because I receive Federal Retirement benefits.

Spouse #2 passed about a year ago, and someone told me I might be able to draw benefits, however, would that preclude drawing on my current spouse, should he pre-decease me?

Thanks for any help.

Sounds like this is the situation (H1 = husband one...) :

H1 - Alive (married less than 10 years??)
H2 - Died (married to for 20 years)
H3 - Alive (married after age 60)

I believe receiving any benefits based on H1 are unlikely. To qualify for benefits based on H1's record you must have been married to H1 for 10 years.

I believe benefits based on H2 are possible, since you were married to him for more than 10 years AND you married H3 AFTER age 60. After age 60 is key. If you married H3 before age 60 you are more apt to lose benefits based on his record.

Social Security documents on this are rather hazy, so I recommend you contact the SSA directly.

Also, if you will also receive a pension based on work not covered by Social Security, such as government or foreign work, your Social Security benefits as a survivor may be affected. This type of benefit reduction is called Government Pension Offset (GPO).

I appreciate your responding. H1 I was married 15 years. However I do receive the government retirement, so the GPO offset I think is going to kill this, it sounds like. Once again, thanks.

My husband and I were married 1997 and separated without a formal divorce in 2005. I will be 62 in August, he is 7 years younger, can I file on his benefits?

I was told that at 62 I will qualify for SSA benefits and can chose either mine, which is very low, just 195.00 per mo currently on SSI receiving 698.00 . I was told I could draw upon the higher of the two, either mine or my exspouse who has paid a hefty amount of FICA and I would receive half of his retirement however he is 5 years younger than me. How does this work? do I or can I apply for his SSA instead of my megar amount . I have been disabled since 1990 but was dragged through the system for years and yet got it for affective mood disorder. I only found that out by calling and asking for I did not receive a copy of the descison in my case. Since 86' I have had bipolar/affective mood disorder along with other neurological diseases and COPD DDD and other problems. I am so confused and my birthday when I turn 62 is coming up in Sept. I would like to know if I do have a choice or what are the rules.
also if later in life I remarry my ex husband will that effect my monthly check?

if I remarry my spouse that I divorced before I was on SSI and now will be retirement age and will go to SSA either using my megar funding FICA because I was so sick for so long before finally getting approved for funding. My ex SSA is lots higher than mine, we divorced in 2003 and are dating but not living together. If we do in the future remarry will I lose my SSA checks if they are used from his FICA ? Or will I have to wait until he is retired? he is 5 yrs younger than me. so he will not be able to retire at this time.
I am so confused because I know that a change from SSI to sSD is coming up in Sept. of this year. when I turn 62. I was told to contact social security this month to start the change over...can you help me understand this ?

Sponsored Links

Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration