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.