Can the widow’s/widower’s pension be paid after divorce or separation? If a legally separated or divorced person dies, the surviving spouse may be entitled to a widow’s or widower’s pension, for life, if they receive a compensatory pension and lose it at the time of death. In this article we review the requirements that affect the widow’s/widower’s pension for divorced persons.
General rule on widow’s or widower’s pension
As a general rule, the requirements that apply to the widow’s/widower’s pension are as follows:
- The person must be affiliated with Social Security and have paid contributions. If the person who dies was not registered with the social security system, at least 15 years of contributions must be shown.
- If the death was due to a common illness, 500 days of contributions must have been paid in the previous 5 years.
- In the event of death due to an accident, whether or not at work, this contribution period is not necessary.
- In the case of death due to common illness, the marriage must have taken place at least one year before the date of death or, alternatively, the existence of common children.
- This duration of the marriage is not required if, on the date of celebration of the marriage, there is proof of a period of cohabitation with the deceased which, added to the duration of the marriage, exceeds two years.
Widow’s or widower’s pension for divorced persons
Regarding the widow’s/widower’s pension for divorced and separated persons, as we stated at the beginning of this article, in the case of judicially separated or divorced couples, the spouse is entitled to a widow’s/widower’s pension when he/she is not entitled to a compensatory pension. Factors such as these make it important to seek professional advice when negotiating a divorce.
If the amount of the widow’s/widower’s pension is higher than the compensatory pension, the latter is reduced to the lower amount.
Victims of domestic violence
They will be entitled to the widow’s pension even if they are not entitled to a compensatory pension if it is proven that they were victims of domestic violence at the time of the divorce through a final judgment or through a protection order issued in their favour indicating the existence of signs of domestic violence.
As a general rule, if there are several beneficiaries (several partners from different marriages), the pension will be awarded in proportion to the length of time each person has lived with the deceased.
Another common question is whether it is possible to receive a widow’s or widower’s pension if you have remarried. The answer is again yes, with restrictions. The casuistry is wide and the requirements are numerous.
What about unmarried partners?
Unmarried partners are entitled to this pension if they meet certain requirements and are registered as a partner at the time of death.
Our recommendation, in any case, is to sit down with an experienced family lawyer who can review your specific case.