A higher-earning spouse may resent his ex getting any of "their money" or think it affects how much he receives in benefits. It doesn't. Or the spouse who is entitled to benefits based on her ex's earnings may not want so-and-so to know she is taking benefits based on his record.
There's good news if you'd rather your ex not know about your benefits. An ex-spouse is not affected by the benefits you receive and is not notified. However, if your ex is really curious, he can find out who is taking benefits based on his record. Webb says, "We would have to let them know if they asked us. An individual is entitled by law to know the names and benefit amounts of anyone receiving benefits off of his or her record. They are not entitled to mailing address or other identifying information, however."
Webb says not even a divorce decree can take away your Social Security benefits based on your ex's contributions. "Social Security is a federal program," he says. "No divorce decree can trump Social Security."