Destitute divorcee ponders her options

Posted: April 19, 2013

DEAR HARRY: I was married in 1963. It was a stormy marriage right from day one.

I was getting a divorce in 1969 when I discovered that he was already married to at least one other woman in Florida. The whole fiasco ended in an annulment. I have totally lost touch with him so I have no idea if he is still married, or even if he's still alive.

I am now 67 and receiving Social Security, and I was wondering if there is some way I can get some of his Social Security. I'm fairly certain that it's a lot larger than mine. Please answer soon, because I'm slowly depleting my IRA, and I have very little else.

What Harry says: Sorry. The annulment is not a termination of a marriage, but rather a wiping out of the marriage. It's as if it never happened. In your case, even if the marriage were valid, you would still not be able to collect on his SS because the marriage must last for at least 10 years in order for a divorced spouse to have access to it.

Did you ever get married? If so, you may very well be able to get benefits based on your spouse's SS. Your local SS office has well-trained people to help . . . and they are very helpful.


Email Harry Gross at harrygrossDN@gmail.com, or

write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107.

Harry urges all his readers to give blood. Contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red Cross.

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