Ask Terry Questions I was with my daughters father for 20 years but cannot find a marriage certificate

I was with my daughters father for 20 years but cannot find a marriage certificate

By Terry Savage on October 13, 2019 | Wild Card

I retired early and am only bringing in 323.00 on my own record and cannot believe that this history regarding my partner goes overlooked while others who have been together for only 10 years are able to receive their partners social security….I cannot believe this state! He left myself and my daughter 20 years ago and I did work part time throughout our life together and when he left took on more hours…..They recommended early retirement because my SS income would not improve but suggested working to add to my 300 dollars….how nice of them when I clearly deserve being treated like a spouse when I lived as one and took care of all the financial and household duties including taxes and mortgage documents as a dependent and a non working spouse….I am sick about this but Illinois is the problem!

Terry Says

I’m sorry to tell you that Illinois is NOT the problem, nor is Social Security (a federal program).  The problem is that you never made it legal by marrying the man involved here. The law says that if you were married for 10 years (and are not re-married) you can claim Social Security on HIS record.  But absent any legal proof of marriage, you will not receive his benefits.  Just “saying” you are a “spouse” is not good enough!

Let this be a warning to others who cohabitate.  Being “close” is not the same as being legal.  And if you were still living with him, you would not be allowed in to visit in intensive care — because you are not legally “family.”  And if you were still together, you would not have any spousal rights to inherit from his “estate.”  So just because “everyone knows” you are “together” is not enough.  You need to tie the knot legally to get the multiple rights of a spouse, or ex-spouse.



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