Vicky: After 35 years of marriage, my husband and I divorced. I am 68; he is 77. He was married once before for 16 years. I already receive my own Social Security retirement benefit. Should he die before me, will I qualify for his Social Security amount? Does the fact he was married before affect this?
Phil Moeller: A marriage must last 10 years for a former spouse to qualify for ex-spousal benefits. Someone already receiving Social Security who is unmarried, or married again after age 60, is eligible to file for what would be referred to as an excess ex-spousal survivor benefit. It should equal the amount your survivor benefit exceeds your own retirement benefit. His prior marriage should not affect your own benefit.