Social Security benefits may be paid to the spouse of a contributor in a divorce, after at least a ten year marriage. Benefits are based on the contributions of a former spouse. The benefits are contingent on the ex-spouse’s eligibility for benefits. This is particularly beneficial for a dependent spouse who is older than the contributing spouse. If a surviving divorce spouse is planning to remarry before the age of 60, he or she should seriously consider delaying the wedding until after his/her 60th birthday to avoid a remarriage penalty. If getting a divorce and the marriage is slightly less than ten years in duration, he/she should defer the divorce decree until after the 10th wedding anniversary. http://www.ssa.gov.