Getting Income From Retirement Plans After Divorce

QuestionGetting Income From Retirement Plans After DivorceAs a part of my divorce settlement, I am supposed to get a portion of my husband’s retirement plans. I’ll need some of the money to live on, but I’m only 53, so I’m too young to receive retirement benefits. What’s the best way to handle this retirement plan distribution?

AnswerGenerally, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO, pronounced “quadro”) would be used to transfer your portion of your husband’s plan to an IRA in your name. Ordinarily, you can’t take money from your IRA without penalty until you are 59-1/2.

If you need money to live on now, you can elect to have the funds transferred from your husband’s plan directly to you, rather than transferring them to your IRA. You will have to pay tax on the money you receive, but there won’t be any 10% penalty if the money comes from a retirement plan other than an IRA.

If you don’t want to pay all those taxes up front (and who would?) you can choose to have the money sent directly to your IRA. Then you can annuitize the IRA, taking monthly distributions based on your remaining lifetime.

Although IRA distributions before age 59-1/2 are usually subject to a 10% penalty tax, an exception applies if you annuitize the IRA and continue receiving the payments until you are 59-1/2 (and for a minimum of five years).

1,060 thoughts on “Getting Income From Retirement Plans After Divorce”

  1. debbie didonato

    Need to have paper work drawn up to git qudo he paid for the divoice and I have no representation.


      1. If your divorce agreement gave you a portion of his retirement, you will need to have a Qualified Domestic Relations Order prepared and filed with the plan administrator to assert your rights to your share of the plan. You will then be given several options for accessing the funds, and the timetable on which you are allowed to do so.

        1. Kathy Skoczylas

          How long does it usually take to receive a portion of an ex spouse’s 401k? It has been 4 months since our divorce and I have not seen anything as of yet. Thank you.

          1. Once you have prepared the Qualified Domestic Relations Order and filed it with the plan administrator and they have accepted it, then it shouldn’t take long at all for you to have the funds transferred. How far along are you in that process?

          2. y mother is supposed to be receiving a portion of my dads retirement I believe 40% or 45% is the agreement in the divorce paperwork however has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer doesn’t have much longer to live is there a way or is she able to will that her portion of what she’s going to be getting to Her daughters? If so how do we go about doing that do we have to have power of attorney to one of us or do we file like a Will? If so how do we go about doing that I just found out 3 days ago I am totally at a loss here I have no idea where to start how to go about doing any of this

          3. If the Qualified Domestic Relations Order was filed with the court and served on the retirement plan administrator, then your mother simply names her daughters as beneficiaries. If that hasn’t yet been done to secure her portion of the retirement, it should be done right away.

          4. I was divorced in Nov 2015. We were married for 14 year and 11months. Who pays for the QRDO? Is there a charge tonfigure the Retirement out.

          5. How long exactly would it be to get the funds through QDRO if everything was all in order? I’m trying to buy a home as he is going to keep the marital home.

          6. Married 22 years all together was kept in the dark told nothing about survivors benefits I receive absolutely nothing in retirement. What a slap in the face dishonor and disrespect they consider it community property in Texas and he had a better attorney going on 5 years now lost total faith in the system not fair at all

          7. I was married for 18 years. My x was very sick the last year of his life. He remarried 6 months before he died. Everything went to her our children didn’t receive anything do I have any rights as the x n do my children have any rights. There was 2 death benefits n 2 retirement funds. Thanks so much h.

          8. My mom was awarded part of my dad’s pension in their divorce. He retired over the summer and he’s now receiving his portion but she has yet to receive anything. Is she supposed to contact someone or is he supposed to be paying her?? How does that work?

          9. She should contact the pension plan administrator with whom the Qualified Domestic Relations Order was filed, to see what the status is of her payments. If she failed to have that document prepared, then she should have it drawn up and filed as soon as possible. And if that’s the case, she should also contact and attorney to see if she can take legal steps to have her portion frozen in the plan rather than being paid out to him, and her having to recover it from him.

          10. I didn’t even think about his 401k during divorce. And needless to say he didn’t bring it up It’s been 3 years. He has since remarried. Is their anything I can do now. We were married 24 years. And I sacraficed for this to be saved the same as he did

          11. Vs law married 33 yrs, divorced. Husbands retirement not addressed. Can I go back for some of his retirement from his job. Need help he is a stocbrolker. Told by court clerk. No 4 children.

          12. I received the acceptance letter on October 6th and still haven’t heard a word. Do you think it is still too early to be worried? How long does it usually take?

          13. Timothy B. Garrett

            I had a massive stroke and she Devore me, I’m helpless and no where to turn to? My money Is going to soon to be finish. Please don’t take side with me ex-spouse to my proceed best way hidden treasures to cover exposure
            I Have the right that what’s intital honestly I’m getting a faire share what I going to receive? Please feel free to call me, I eagerly to get started to presume for spouse pension. Phone number Is (310)-863-0449 I’m looking forward to team up , and get equally share all to me,

          14. I’ve been wondering the same thing…..My divorce was final in May. The lawyer (and my ex husband) has told me that the QDRO judgement order has been approved & signed..That the retirement plan company should be contacting me on how I want my payment. ? I haven’t gotten a call or anything in the mail. It is frustrating….I know it takes time..But, I feel like someone is stalling. ? Like it’s sitting on someone’s desk. I’m sure I don’t have the right to contact my ex husbands retirement plan. I just really need what little money I’m getting from my divorce. I’m only getting 25% of his 401k, 20 years of marriage. Pretty much a cut & dry divorce. Sad….I guess I will just keep waiting… Thank you for your help.

          15. You might try contacting the retirement plan administrator, and see if they will tell you at least whether the QDRO is being processed and when it might be complete. If it is not being processed, or if they won’t talk to you, you’ll need to contact the attorney to find out the status, or have your former spouse inquire of the plan adminstrator.

          16. Hi in my divorce decree it said I get half of my ex pensions. He worked at U P S for 15 years. What’s the next step I need to do? Thanks Shaun

          17. I was awarded a portion of my husband’s retirement funds in our divorce. A QDRO was completed, sent and approved by my husbands plan administrator. I contacted the plan administrator to ask, how long will it be before I receive my portion of my husband’s IRA. The plan administrator informed me that I can not have access to my share of the fund’s until my husband turns 60.(Thats four years from now) That portion of my husband’s retirement, was ALL I was awarded from the divorce. I have nothing else and am living with my mother. I need the retirement money now, to start my life over. I can’t wait four yrs. I am 50. How do I obtain access to my share of the funds now, to start my life over again?. Please help

          18. Hi.i was ordered a half of a 401k 16 years ago from the judge in my divorce.but was tricked with a phone call by my ex.n said to me that im not getting and am i still able to collect.i have it in my divorce papers…..thanks if you can help me.

          19. What do you mean “If” the administrator accepts the QDRO? I thought if it’s a judgement court order for you to have a portion….. #imconfused.

          20. Mrs. Wall,
            I have been divorced from my ex husband for almost 4 yrs. Now…in the decree it stated that I would get a portion of his 401 k, once he has withdrawn it…but, he lost his job about 6 months ago, and I have no clue if he has pulled any out to live on, or even how I would find out who I qpukd contact for my portion, bc I know that he sure isn’t gonna come forth on his own and tell me when he pulls any out bc he knows in our decree it stated that I get my portion at some point. He’s 6months (almost $3,000.00) behind on did support, even though he’s married recently, and his spouse has a job, be still continues to not offer to pay any cs….
            I’ve already had the quadro papers withdrawn when the divorce was final, bc I paid $500. Just to have those certain papers drawn and sent to his lawyer a couple years ago….

          21. You should have a QDRO served on the plan administrator as soon as possible (not the attorney, the plan administrator). That will let the plan administrator know that you have a certain interest in the plan, and then the plan administrator will be able to communicate with you. Until then, if your ex won’t provide you with plan statements to show whether he’s made withdrawals, then you’ll need to petition the court to have them order him to produce the proof.

          22. I don’t know who the plan administrator is, how do I find out? I do know it went to firth third bank in Colorado I think it is Colorado.

          23. Kathy Skoczylas

            A separate account was set up through my ex spouse’s job, I believe it’s called an IRA. That was the end of last month, now I am just waiting for the actual funds to show up on my account. It just seems like it’s taking forever since we have been divorced for 4 months now. I understand there’s a process in everything but I wasn’t sure if it should be taking this long.

          24. I am the receiving spouse & yes it took a long time. Try not use till you retire or 59.5 at earliest.
            That is why if you are under retirement age, you should get a full-time job even if low paying.
            Plus it is socialization & healthier to work.

          25. Has anything happened for you? I am in the SAME situation. I have called BOTH lawyers everyday and I am writing the judge. We were married for 20 yrs and the last 15 yrs of our marriage he hardly worked, union cement mason. I am so so tired of all this b.s.

          26. I have been waiting over 2 yrs now for a QDRO that was issued 20 yrs ago. Ex-spouse is now in contempt of court and has been stalling for over a year to fill out his share of paperwork. I hired the first attorney, after three months they said they didn’t want to touch the case. I now have a new attorney and the settlement has been submitted to court. It’s been over 2 yrs now. So no it is not always quick and easy, or without problems. Especially if your ex spouse was a government worker. The HR dept for government workers, OPM (Office of Personnel Management), is the worst institution to work with.

          27. Diane E LaschatzBaca

            OMGosh! I feel so lucky to have stumbled onto this web site WIFE.ORG. I picked up my iPad and my screen changed to this site, and oh how I needed this info.
            Ok I’m writing to you because I am living a nightmare, thru my never ending divorce. I was a nurse for over 27 years
            and became disabled with Myasthenia Gravis and lots of other issues. I spent my retro active SSDI monies on a QDRO divorce attorney specialist.
            This attorney did get my alimony started. But then he had a private meeting with my ex without my knowledge and after that he was no longer for me. He actually turned against me and wouldn’t answer any questions etc. I think they were both Vietnam vets and that was that.
            So, Im now out a little over 13,000 dollars. And recently my ex somehow stopped the payments of my alimony 3 months ago. I couldn’t get any answers as to why or what caused this from OPM.
            As a result of this drastic cut in moneies, I’m now being evicted this month from my tiny apartment. I don’t really have any friends, they were mainly his friends when I was married. They came with him and left when he did. I was so stupid. And my BFF died a few years ago. And there’s my 4 sisters, who are so dysfunctional that we don’t talk much.
            So that brought my ex around my apartment alot. Never invited him he would just appear at my door. Oh how I still walked on egg shells around him. He then started to be verbally abusive to me. And was sexually demanding when the payments (alimony) stopped and would claim not to worry he’s gonna help me I will get money every month no matter what yada yada .. You no.
            And I’m ashamed to say that I did complied to his demands to get some of the money. But I couldn’t do it again. So I stood firm and refused him. Scared out of my mind thought for sure he was gonna do me in. So then after that day all help has ceased completely. He blocked my calls and nothing arrived to my bank for direct deposit anymore.
            So now, I’m going to go to the Sacramento family law court self help center this Monday and try to get an ex parte order to resume my alimony and whatever I can get the law to do for me. And I’m dismissing my attorney of record cause I have no more money to pay him. And he’s not there for me anymore. Plus he requires a 10,000 dollar continual balance thru this process. A good friend played $5000 to help me. And we’re just friends I was amazed. Anyways..
            This QDRO I will need to do it myself as well. And as the woman stated OPM is terrible to have deal with. SO PLEASE ANY AND ALL ADVICE ON THE DEALINGS WITH OPM WOULD BE TRUELY APPRECIATED.
            Thank you all for sharing and God bless!
            Diane Laschatz-Baca
            I’m sorry, just so overwhelmed and its hard to get straight to the point.

          28. He divorced me in 2003, married in1999. He RETIRED on October 31,2019 he promised when we divorced he would let me know of his retirement, but I found out on my own. Am I entitled to the pension. QDRO

          29. If you were awarded a portion of his retirement in your divorce, then you need to file a Qualified Domestic Relations Order with the plan administrator, if you haven’t done so already, so they will make payments directly to you. However, given that you were married only four of the years he was employed under the pension, I’m guessing your portion of the payments will be fairly small.

          1. Vickie Thompson

            I need help to collect my portion of my ex-husband retirement. I file all paperwork with his employer after the divorce. But now that my ex-husband is deceased the employer is refusing to pay my portion of the retirement. I’m at retirement age, should i hire a attorney?

          2. Dear Ginita: I have been married for 7 years, my husband just recently turned 60 and has started receiving his ” military benefits, however, I have no idea ” how much money is coming in, as he and his ” accountant brother does all of our taxes. I’ve noticed as my husband and his brother are trying to hide retirement monies from me..and a lot of other bank accounts as well, this Military account was ” unknowing to me, was set up in a bank account where his brother lives in ” another state. His brother will send only my husband a ” supposed check each month for the amount, I never see this money and my husband says it’s because that’s where his brother lives and that’s this was how it was set up. I am very upset and cannot trust my husband in our financial services. The brother does our tax returns as ” they” have assets in another state.I’ve never seen any tax returns. He never tells me if or what our return is if any. I really feel like I’m boxed into a marriage where I do not feel secure. We have fought several times over these issues. Deaf ears, what do I need to do? Forensic private I. ?

          3. In most states each spouse has a fiduciary duty to the other, that is, must treat the other spouse’s share of funds as he would treat his own. I suggest that you counsel with a marriage counselor who deals with these types of financial fidelity issues to reach an accord about sharing information. As a last resort, you can file for divorce and begin legal discovery, but it doesn’t sound as though you want to end the marriage, you just want transparency in financial dealings.

          4. You people are all sickening why don’t you just go get a job like your husband did to support you

          5. Most of us women do have jobs and did before the marriage and all through the marriage. We need the money for our kids to have a decent life because most men do not want to support their children after a divorce because all they think about is another woman. Usually it is that that causes most divorces. You try supporting kids with one income because the other parent could care less. Then let me know your opinion

          6. I totally agree with you Susan. Thank you for speaking up for many women who don’t have a chance. Thank you for helping the men to see the reality…Hopefully your feedback will help open part of their hearts…

          7. I’m the man in the marriage getting screwed. the shoe fits on both feet unfortunately. there are horrible woman as well…no offense

          8. Dear Jamie,
            Do you feel the same when the wife supports the husband’s cushy lifestyle for 25 years?
            and puts up with His PORN ADDICTIONS, PERVERSIONS, cashes out her 401k’s for the family’s needs over the years… but Mr Goober keeps HIS money separate “what’s mine is his and what’s his is his too. “. so hard to deal with a narcissist with an entitlement issue.

          9. Jaime
            You are obviously have not educated yourself nor are capable of understanding that every marriage has its own given roles to which both partners contribute in order to grow and maintain a lifestyle. Please refrain from judging others by your own prejudices. I can offer you some wonderful google search ideas to help educate and then hopefully inform other women and men about these facts:
            If you have access to the internet start by searching for the following:
            1. Salary calculated for women who stay home based on an hourly wage would be $115,000 a year.
            ( source : Forbes)
            2. Average cost of child care for a infant under 3 and after school care for pre K- elementary school averages at $18,000 a year for home based cared. Corporate run child care centers average $23,000-28,000. Depending on factors such as location, extra sports activities included and the Credentials of the staff
            3. Austria has a min requirement of 12 MONTHS paid maternity leave and mommies can request up to an additional 12 month. They receive a salary of $695.00 a week for anyone making under 150k yearly. Every woman has access to these and several more incentives when starting their families.

            Can you imagine the stress that would be removed from being torn emotionally and financially on new parents if they had that option available to them?
            Imagine the time and worry parents experience when having to make that choice. It shouldn’t ever come to the point of surviving or handing over your child to another person 5 days a week. I am 100% on the side of doing whatever fits your family in the best way in order to thrive . I also know the heartache and guilt of others for trying to do it all and really only wanting to be at home with their babies. Daycare can go from 6:30am until 6:30. If you factor in a commute of 30 mins 2x a day and an 8-5 day then that’s 10 hours a day. Little ones go to bed in the area of 7-8 pm. So from 5:30 – 7 or 8 , the time spent with your child is approx 2.5 hours a day x 5 is 12.5 hours m-f. 50 hours a month
            Daycare spends 200 with them.
            It’s a choice that should be talked about by both parents and carefully considered.
            I support all moms and have always understood everyone and every situation is unique.
            Be the kind of woman that encourages , educates and enlightens other women. Judging and blogging insensitive comments doesn’t contribute to the real situations and fears that woman during a divorce.
            I wish for the ” ah ha” moment someday ao you can someday help to make things better and. Not make any woman feel what you are feeling.
            Judgement isn’t an asset and it won’t. Make you Amy better than another person. It’s a sign of fear, weakness ams lack of knowledge on the history of what judging will eventually become.

            10 mins and 10 dollars from each of us who live together on this planet would obsolve homelessness, hunger and loneliness.
            Pay it forward , not back.
            Be the change you wish to see in the world. Stop complaining and being a bitch to women that have been brace enough and are resourceful to seek out their own answers .

          10. Jaime
            You are obviously have not educated yourself nor are capable of understanding that every marriage has its own given roles to which both partners contribute in order to grow and maintain a lifestyle. Please refrain from judging others by your own prejudices. I can offer you some wonderful google search ideas to help educate and then hopefully inform other women and men about these facts:
            If you have access to the internet start by searching for the following:
            1. Salary calculated for women who stay home based on an hourly wage would be $115,000 a year.
            ( source : Forbes)
            2. Average cost of child care for a infant under 3 and after school care for pre K- elementary school averages at $18,000 a year for home based cared. Corporate run child care centers average $23,000-28,000. Depending on factors such as location, extra sports activities included and the Credentials of the staff
            3. Austria has a min requirement of 12 MONTHS paid maternity leave and mommies can request up to an additional 12 month. They receive a salary of $695.00 a week for anyone making under 150k yearly. Every woman has access to these and several more incentives when starting their families.

            Can you imagine the stress that would be removed from being torn emotionally and financially on new parents if they had that option available to them?
            Imagine the time and worry parents experience when having to make that choice. It shouldn’t ever come to the point of surviving or handing over your child to another person 5 days a week. I am 100% on the side of doing whatever fits your family in the best way in order to thrive . I also know the heartache and guilt of others for trying to do it all and really only wanting to be at home with their babies. Daycare can go from 6:30am until 6:30. If you factor in a commute of 30 mins 2x a day and an 8-5 day then that’s 10 hours a day. Little ones go to bed in the area of 7-8 pm. So from 5:30 – 7 or 8 , the time spent with your child is approx 2.5 hours a day x 5 is 12.5 hours m-f. 50 hours a month
            Daycare spends 200 with them.
            It’s a choice that should be talked about by both parents and carefully considered.
            I support all moms and have always understood everyone and every situation is unique.
            Be the kind of woman that encourages , educates and enlightens other women. Judging and blogging insensitive comments doesn’t contribute to the real situations and fears that woman during a divorce.
            I wish you the ” ah ha” moment someday so you can begin to contribute to finding the solution. .
            Judgement isn’t an asset, it’s not worth shit and it won’t. Make you Any better than another person. It’s a sign of fear, weakness and a lack of knowledge for history. Read up on what judging will eventually become.

            10 mins and 10 dollars from each of us who live together on this planet would obsolve homelessness, hunger and loneliness.
            Pay it forward , not back.

            Be the change you wish to see in the world

            Cheers to the women who are resourceful to seek out answers and brave enough to try another way

          11. Jamie, you should educate yourself in matters that you don’t understand. I am an ex-wife who is going to be collecting soon on my deceased ex-husband’s pension. We were married for 25 years and which I worked the same as he did. I also took care of the house the children and everything else that goes along with being a mother. We made a decision while we were married to only contribute to one pension plan. So that we could have the extra money to enjoy the vacations and the extras with our children. So once he hit midlife crisis and decided he wanted to start running around with other women. I had to secure my future by filing a qualified domestic order. He went out on disability while we were still married. So tell me. why should his current wife benefit from a pension that I helped him to earn? He was long retired before he met her.

          12. Jamie, Im sure you didn’t mean to offend. I worked right along side my ex husband and cared for two toddlers mostly on my own while my husband completed his masters degree. After he promoted it was his wish that I be home with our children.
            He moved us away from family, isolated us and became very abusive to the point of nearly killing me.
            Yes, I do deserve my share of his retirement and pension every bit as much as he does and not one person will ever make me feel guilty for that.
            You never know what someone else has experienced. Try not to throw stones lest your glass house breaks one day.
            Be blessed.

          13. Because being married is a job. Like most of us who have fulltime employment outside of home and fulltime household positions taking care of the needs of our families including servicing and serving our husbands deserve compensation. Don’t hate the players hate the game of life.

          14. Virginia Kiernan

            My divorce was final in 2003. I was awarded 50% of his 401k and stock options and have no idea what I need to do now to collect my share.

          15. The 401(k) requires a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to identify your share with the plan administrator. Ask your attorney for a recommendation of someone to draw up the document. You will probably have the funds transferred to an IRA in your name so you have control of them. As for the stock options, most companies will not transfer them into the name of a non-employee. So when you want to exercise them you will have to ask your spouse to exercise them on your behalf and remit the proceeds to you.

          16. virginia kiernan

            Thank you for your reply. I do not have money for an attorney what would i have to do to start the process i have my divorce paper which include order for qdro

          17. The same as you, I don’t have money to hire the attorney. I contacted my ex’s plan administrator and asked for the procedure. They guided me through. I filled out the QDRO form, sent it back to them for preaproval. In the meantime, I contacted them for the status of pre-approval. When I know for sure they approve my QDRO, I brought the packet to Court and asked the clerk to stamp. It will make the process faster. You will need to send the QDRO (with court stamp), along with the divorce decree to your ex plan administrator. They will transfer the fund under new account for you. Or you can open IRA account to transfer the fund to. It took me a month to complete everything…while I heard it can take more than 3 months if you hire an attorney to do it.
            It’s pretty easy to do. You can do it…if you do it yourself, you will be in control…instead of running around asking for the status…
            Good luck to you!

          18. My ex husband sends me a check each month from his retirement account. We divorced in Texas years ago. He is retired military. The money sent from him was the way our Divorce decree was written because of Texas laws. Do I need to pay taxes on that money? How do I record it on my 2017 taxes. I am 59, in one mmm month I will be 59.5.

          19. It depends on how your divorce agreement was worded. It is likely that it says that you are to receive a portion of the funds he receives after paying tax, in which case it wouldn’t be taxable to you. Have a qualified tax expert look at it and let you know if you can’t figure it out.

          20. If someone was living with someone for 10 years but never legally married , and although they filed tax return and had he/she on insurance as spouse and as beneficiary on retirement/stocks but split up and remarried and on or the other forgotten to take off as benefiary after all these years, is he or she intitled to half of retirement/ stocks? Or does this have to go to court to be settled.

          21. If your state provides for common law marriage, then you might need to get a divorce and negotiate a divorce settlement. If you aren’t common-law married, then there is no divorce needed. Talk to an attorney to see what you are entitled to under the laws of your state.

          22. Jennifer Chakwin

            I have been divorced for 5 years and in my divorce settlement I was awarded A portion of his 401k but I have not transferred it yet after all this time. I just recently lossed my job due to the covet Coronavirus and was wondering how to cash it on without hiring a lawyer

          23. You will need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to capture your portion of the funds, and it sounds as though you have not yet done the QDRO. So have it prepared, and in it you can say that the funds are to be paid directly to you rather than rolled into an IRA. That way you’ll owe income taxes on the distribution, but no penalty for early withdrawal. The plan administrator may be able to provide a prototype QDRO that you can use as a template in preparing the QDRO.

        2. My mom recently discovered her qdro and saw that my dad never transferred over a large portion of his retirement to which she was entitled. It has been about 9 years since their divorce was finalized and my mom just discovered this. My dad has acknowledged that he owes her the money. My question now is does he only owe her the amount specified on the document or does he also owe her the interest this accrued over the past 9 years? My mom claims he does and my dad claims he only owes the original figure. But that seems incredibly unfair to me that he was making money off of this for 9 years and wouldn’t have to give her any of it

          1. You’ll need to look to the terms of the divorce agreement. If it says she gets X portion plus earnings thereon to date of division, then she is owed the growth. If it specifies a dollar amount, she may only be entitled to that. If it specifies a percentage, then she’s probably entitled to that percentage of what’s there plus what he has withdrawn since then (if anything). If you have questions re interpretation of what it provides, you should see an attorney.

        3. I was divorced in 08 in Texas. I was ordered 10% of his retirement. He has been right at 20 years. I am not sure if he will be retiring soon. However, he is the type that would not inform me. Do I need to wait until he retires or can I start something now?

          1. You need to have a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) prepared so that the plan administrator is on notice that 10% of his pension is to go to you, and will send you what belongs to you directly when he retires.

          2. I have been divorced for 28 years, ex-husband had the lawyer!
            The lawyer never mentioned about his retirement account.
            Can I still get what is owed me now?

          3. Look at your divorce agreement to see what it says about that retirement account, and whatever that says you’ll get is what you’ll get. If that asset was not mentioned in your agreement, then you may be able to open your case up for the purpose of dividing an after-discovered asset. You’ll need to talk to an attorney or someone familiar with the rules for doing that in your state.

        4. Per my divorce decree I am entitled to all of my husbands 401k. He chose to give it all to me in lieu of child support and I agreed. My question is, he had Borrowed some money from that 401k that is still being paid on. Will that amount owed be taken off of what I’m entitled to or will I get the full vested amount?

          1. He is under the impression that the balance owed on the loan will be taken out of the vested balance though before I get it. Do you know if that’s the case?

          2. And I’m also curious about the possible penalties and taxes that will be due in the withdrawal. I think they will take 35% of taxes on the money, am I correct on that? And which of us will receive the tax form to file with our taxes on the distribution? And thank you for responding to me, it is greatly appreciated.

          3. Ginita Wall, CPA, CFP

            Reply to Amy: The balance owned on the loan is already out of the account. Let’s say $100 is in the account and he borrowed $20. Now only $80 is in the account, so only $80 can be transferred to you via a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. If it is transferred to your IRA, there are no taxes due at the time of transfer. If it is paid to you directly, they will withhold 20% federal and possibly some state withholding as well. You’ll report the withdrawal on your tax return for that year and pay any additional taxes due.

        5. If the Quadro wasn’t included in my divorce decree can I still get a portion of my ex retirement? We were married 14 years and divorced in Baton Rouge, La I think La. Is a common law state

          1. If you were awarded a portion of your ex-spouse’s retirement account, you will need to have a QDRO prepared and served on the plan administrator. If your spouse was awarded all of the retirement, you won’t get the retirement. If your divorce agreement didn’t address the retirement, talk to your attorney about opening up the divorce for the purpose of dividing the retirement.

          2. Patricia Attaway

            I had no idea a QDRO was needed. My ex-husband withdrew his retirement in a lump sum without giving me anything. I was awarded 50% in the divorce. He worked over 34 years at a lumber mill. How do I get my portion, and how do I get an attorney to represent me when I have no money?

          3. It is amazing how you spend your free time to help another person we must ask God to bless you for the rest of your days.In my case I receive the 401 k if my ex who says will give 100% of her retirement plan how can I be sure If the document is well done I do not know when it will be the original.

          4. You will need to have a Qualified Domestic Relations Order prepared and filed on the plan administrator to carry out the provision of your divorce agreement regarding the retirement plans if a portion is to be transferred to the non-employee spouse.

          5. If a QDRO was signed giving my husband 1/2 of my 401 K but does not mention my pension, is he entitled to it? Can he come back in 4 years and get it? We’re in TX. Divirce Decree mentions half of my 401(k) but nothing about my pension. His lawyer drafted up our final decree and mentioned that I was not entitled to anything of his retirement pension or anything else prior to the divorce or in the future. . However she left that out of my personal property part.

          6. Hi I was married to a naval man who received a disability from the navy. We were married for 11 years, we have been divorced for 21 years now and the divorce decree did not mention his disability pension. I am remarried now can a judge reopen the divorce and include the pension

        6. I was divorced in April 2015 … I was the recipient of a QDRO for a large sum. I was never offered to to turn this into an IRA or anything or to take any cash from it with the penalty of course . Does that apply to Pensions as well as Retirement accounts ?

          1. If the pension plan allows transfers to retirement accounts and/or withdrawals before retirement, then you can specify in the QDRO that is what is to be done. If the plan doesn’t allow it, then it can’t.

          2. I’m disabled and was awarded half my ex’s retirement. I have a Qdro in place, he works for UPS and I think their conditions specify I can’t get it rolled into a IRA per companies plan. I’m also homeless and need that money now,, is there anything I can do at all, I couldn’t afford an attorney then, can he write a support letter to redo the divorce decree? Or to UPS? I need help ASAP,, thanks

          3. anna marie salazar

            My exspouse also works at UPS and i was awarded half his retirement. A qdro is in place, however ups is saying they cannot release funds until he retires. Isnt there a lay in texas that allows this? My hrblock rep says there is. Also, im so concerned because i recently received ups letter that is required by law to inform that they only had 40% to cover overalls retirement funds. Please help!

        7. Ms. Wall,

          After reading a number of the posts, I want to make sure I understand. The QDRO has been formally accepted, approved and being processed by my ex-husband’s company. Once that money is placed in an account for me, I had planned to use a portion of it to buy a house.

          Will I have to pay taxes on the money I withdrew to pay for the house?

          Thank you

        8. Thru QDRO I’m assigned 50% marital portion. My ex worked 18 years then became disabled before retirement age he’s 50.. can I get my 50% early…today?

        9. I have a friend whom is now divorced and she had decided that she only wants 5000 more of his pension. the pension office told him he would need an amendment. can you tell me if there’s a form for that?

          1. It sounds as though the terms of the divorce will change, so they will need to file an amendment to their divorce agreement with the court and a new Qualified Domestic Relations Order with the plan administrator. You’ll need to check with an attorney familiar with the procedures for doing that in your state.

        10. I have everything, the court also sent the notification to my ex husband company. The response they gave me is that they can’t provide with any information because the papers needs to be completed by a lawyer, I explained that I represented myself so that I don’t have a legal representative. I have Qualified Domestic Relation Order, the court sent them the notification that 50% of the retirement plan and 401 K needs to be separated from his account, but the answer is the same, I need a lawyer. I think is not fair

        11. If I am entitled to a portion of my ex husbands retirement and he leaves the job and doesn’t retire and withdraws what he contributed, am I entitled to any of this?

          1. If you were entitled to a portion of his retirement and you filed a Qualified Domestic Relations Order with the plan administrator, your share of the retirement will be kept for you and not paid out to him. If there was no QDRO filed, and he received funds that were in part due to you per the divorce agreement, you should take legal action right away to collect your portion from him.

        12. My husband and I just divorced. …the judge awarded me half of his 401K. We had been separated 4 6yrs beforevthe divorce was final. I do not know thecaccount #s for his 401K. How can I get that info without asking my ex for it Im sure he will not cooperate. I need it to file the QDRO

        13. I’ve been in divorce proceedings since Oct 2009. March 2013 signed settlement agreement. Husband got new lawyer and filed appeal in appellate court. Still awaiting decision. In the meantime husband retired May 2016. There is no QDRO on file yet. Is my portion of pension and 401K etc still protected? If not would a letter from me to his employer be of any use. Please advise. Thank you…L

          1. Generally, there are provisions in your divorce agreement that your husband owes you an interest in the retirement until it can be divided via QDRO. In addition, in some states there are temporary restraining orders that keep financial assets from being disturbed while divorce proceedings are ongoing. You should definitely serve the plan administrator with those temporary orders, if they exist. If not, your attorney should have restraining orders drawn up and served.

        14. Katherine Baggot

          I filled out the QDRO form and have had it approved from the judge and approved with ETF state retirement, but they only gave me the option to have monthly payments not a rollover option or a lump sum option. I was planning on paying off bills so I could live comfortable. Can I get this changed so I can take a payout?

          1. If the plan allows for your husband to receive a lump sum now, then you can get a lump sum. But it sounds as though there is no lump-sum option or rollover provision in the plan provisions, and they won’t give you a benefit greater than what they would have given your husband on the same funds.

        15. Pic ex-husband has a QUADRO prepared 8 years after divorce, and 1year after ex-wife’s retirement, is he entitled to a whole year of back pay? Does the wife have to pay anything at all?

          1. You’ll need to refer to the divorce agreement to see what it says about what he is to receive, and consult with an attorney if it isn’t clear. Everyone, this is why you should have Qualified Domestic Relations Orders prepared promptly after divorce.

        16. Hello,
          I was awarded half my ex husband’s pension in our divorce. We’ve been divorced since 1993. He just recently passed at the age of 55. How do I go about collecting that as I’m only 53 now.

        17. Our divorce finalized August 2016. We did not pay for QDRO’s for our rollover IRA and four separate 401k accounts. We simply agreed to divide the balances that existed at the time of separation. Our California Marriage Settlement Agreement states the balances and divided each account in half.

          Will a QDRO be necessary? I plan on opening my own IRA with the same brokerage. All the accounts are with one brokerage company.

        18. We are married in CA in 2005 just before he must put someone beneficiary on his government retirement paper ( he put my name), he start getting his retirement benefit in 2008, we live together 11 years if I divorce him will I get any part of his pension? Bcs I’m only CNA and have small income. The house only on his name , he made me sighn the papers.

          1. My husband is retiring this month, I get half his pension, will the plan administration let me know when I should be getting my portion of the money?

          2. If you filed a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, then you will begin getting payments once he retires. Contact the plan administrator to see what the timetable is and when you can expect to receive the form you must fill out telling them the option you choose for receiving the payments. This is also a good time to be sure that they have up-to-date contact information for you.

        19. I did a qdro. State retirement didn’t accept. My ex is behind 7 months and keeps telling me he will give me. Money by check. He keeps our 19 yr old away from me. I need to do an amendment because the amount to be divided was not entered but the state won’ accept. I will never. Get back pension. What do I do?

          1. If you need to amend a legal agreement, you’ll need to consult an attorney. If your QDRO was not accepted, you’ll need to make the necessary changes to it so that it is accepted. Obviously, depending on your former spouse to make payments to you isn’t workable. As for your 19 year old, he is an adult and can do what he likes.

        20. Marcie Lynn Navarro


        21. I did have a QuDRO drawn in my divorce, but the company is refusing to give me my half of the money until my ex’s retirement age. He only agreed to giving me half so could use it to start over. He got our home and land. The xompany wont send me commencement documents.
          Thank you in advance.
          Heather Hopkins

        22. Victoria Faust

          Ginita- my husband (I’m in the process of moving out and filing for divorce) received a lump sum pension payout earlier this year. I was not married to him at the time that he worked there. However we have no prenuptial agreement about money or assets including pension payouts. He says he is going to freeze our joint bank account and that will leave me to try and raise his two children without any cash flow for a few weeks at least. Can he legally do this? I also have a child support from my first marriage that gets direct deposited into this joint account weekly. This would mean I could not access my daughter money that is in our joint account. Please help. Thank you, Tori

          1. You can ask the bank whether he can do this and see what they say. And you should definitely talk to an attorney right away to find out what he legally can and cannot do, and what you can do to prevent him doing something that he doesn’t have a legal right to do. If I were in your shoes I’d open my own account and have my child support deposited to my new account.

        23. If my ex remarried after our divorce, is he able to go back on me and petition my 401K now? Shouldn’t he be the problem of his new spouse now?

        24. My divorce was final one year ago. I was awarded half of my ex husbands retirement. My lawyer tried to do a quadro. My ex husbands company has it set up in a way that I cannot get my half till he passes away or retires. Is there anyway I can force a payout for my share? I still have bills from when I was married that I cannot afford to pay and my credit is ruined.

          1. The company will not make funds available to you sooner than they make funds available to the employee — that’s the way all plans work. So if he couldn’t get the funds until he retires, then you can’t either.

        25. If your divorce has already been finalized and you did not sue for half of the military pension; am I able to do so now? I was really not counseled on this during the time of the divorce. I live in NC.

          1. If your divorce agreement awards the entire pension to your spouse, then there’s probably nothing you can do. But if it was silent, you may be able to open the case up again to divide an omitted asset. And since this is a military pension, there may be special rules that apply, perhaps even a rule that says that you are entitled no matter what your divorce agreement says. Talk to an attorney about this issue.

        26. I have the QDRO and it is filed with the retirement administrator but I was recently told if he moves to Texas that the state of Texas will not honor it. Is that true?

          1. Hi. I was divorced in 1999. I did not know about a QDRO. Did not file one Now I do know and will file one. I am awarded half his pension retirement and 401 k. Who do I talk to to help do this an Attorney I suppose. Who is a retired administrator?

        27. My husband and I just got divorced and I was rewarded amount from his 401k I finally got a letter in from his retirement saying I’m entitled to it but I can’t get it until he retires but I need some money to live on. I was told I could get the money from his retirement want can I do

        28. How do I know if a QDRO was filed at time of divorce? And if not, where do i receive one? Can you send me a form?

        29. THank you so much for all the time you have taken to help us. I was married 21 yrs to a man who has worked at Dow Chemical for now 28. He was ordered to split his pension with me 50/50 and after 7yrs has not done the qdro. I am taking him back to court to get him to do it, but now Im wondering a should I just do it myself? Im going to contact the admin tomorrow and start asking questions so on our court date I know a bit more what Im talking about. And last, he makes 100K a yr I know he wants to retire at 30yrs..(Soon) he put max in the entire time.. About how much is it worth? I am now rasing my grandchildren and renting and have been struggling or 7 yrs,even homeless because he wasnt paying our mortgage..I did read in the plan that they do give out money with a qdro even though he cannot get his until retirement..(I think that means I can have my money when I get this done)

        30. 50% of my ex’s retirement was granted in the order.
          Actual divorce has not been granted as there were all sorts of other issues (TRO and custody) so We had to back-burner a lot of the financials to get through the custody issues.
          It has been 2 years and we are back to tie up the divorce.
          The courts told us (five months ago now) they CAN NOT grant divorce until “the retirement is taken care of” and since that relies on my ex and he is resistant, I am at a loss.

          What are the very first and basic steps that I can take to complete this portion.
          Who do I contact first?

          Thank you for your time and information.

          1. Start by getting a clear definition from your attorney of what the judge means by “the retirement is taken care of” — the terms agreed upon, the actual division made, or something else? Once you understand that terminology, the way to proceed will be clear.

        31. I’m trying to file bankruptcy, been divorced since March 7th 2016. Judge have me half of his retirement. Lawyer took fees to distribute ours in half. No words on if it was done, won’t answer phone, my lawyer and his know nothing on it. No word anywhere. How do I find it and can I go thru bankrupty without it? Don’t know the full amount of 401k but believe it’s over$80,000. Debt is $24,000. Better idea to try?

        32. My situation is I was getting half my ex husbands pension, he committed suicide and they stopped it immediately, when I inquired, they told me he had put it somewhere that upon his death benefits stop. He didn’t just die, he committed suicide does that matter.

          1. If you were awarded a portion of his pension in your property settlement and you prepared a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to secure your share, then the election that you made when the payments began is what should govern. If you were simply awarded a portion of the payments he receives as he receives them, then when the payments cease upon his death you will no longer receive a share, since there is nothing for it to be paid from. How he died isn’t the issue, the fact that the payments ceased is what stops your payments under that scenario.

          2. Hello I am 57 and I have been divorced for 4 years. I was given 1/2 his pension at the time I’d divorce with a QDRO. So my ex is taking early retirement starting febr 1. Do I need to do anything? He did say I would hear from the company he worked for. What do I need to do if anything? Thank you in advance.

          3. If I were you, I wouldn’t sit back and wait for the company to contact me. Contact them to get the ball rolling on whatever decisions you need to make and paperwork you need to fill out to get your share of the retirement funds coming your way.

        33. QUADRO was filed after divorce in 1993 and given to ex’s plan administer. That company was sold several times. My ex stayed still with them. He is 64 now. I was never contacted about settling QUADRO. Was to be contacted in 1995. Attorney who did our divorce is currently looking into what happened. Hope, pray for good outcome as I am disabled…was hit by car while walking etc…long tragic story.

        34. Do I need to hire an attorney to file the QDRO? My ex lives in Washington state and I live in New York; we’ve both moved several times since our divorce 26 years ago and I just found out he recently retired. Thank you for this site!

        35. I was divorced 2 and a half years ago and in the divorce degree it states that I am get 50% of his retirement and 50% of his investments. Through my daughter I found out he should be retiring in 1 year. I just need to find out what form do I need to file to make sure I get half his retirement. My email is
          please advise

          1. You need to have a Qualified Domestic Relations Order prepared and filed on the retirement plan administrator. You can use a search engine to find someone to prepare it or ask a knowledgable divorce professional in your area.

        36. I’ve filed my papers to include the QDRO with OPM. In my divorce papers it states a formula of what I get with the dates (from this day to this day) in the divorce papers it also states that once approved I should receive my portion as soon as feasibly possible and mentions 30 days. OPM states that they won’t give me my portion until he retires. This goes against what the divorce papers state. Is it possible to have my portion transferred to me prior to his retirement

          1. The court cannot award a benefit greater than what the plan provides for. If the plan provides that you can receive your portion through a withdrawal or transfer to an IRA, then you can do that. Otherwise, the plan likely provides that the employee spouse must reach retirement age before payments can be made.

        37. I didn’t know that my ex husband’s pension had any value . I agreed to waive my rights to it in the divorce decree . Can I file a motion to change that decision . He never revealed his pension account value . We divorced 7 years ago. I need help please !!!!

        38. Didn’t talk about retirement plan at the time of divorce been divorce for 25 years now ex want to retire he want to buy me out the buy out was to low what do I do next I don’t have money for a lawyer

          1. You are going to have to find out how you can proceed to open up the case and get the retirement divided (or negotiate a buyout). Look for an attorney who will give you an initial session for free, and take in your paperwork from 25 years ago and see what you find out. Or negotiate directly with your ex to reach a fair settlement.

        39. Ginita,
          My ex-wife received a part of my pension via the QDRO. My ex-wife passed away several years
          ago. Our 36 year old daughter is receiving $135.00 per month now, after her death. Is this considered “qualified $” and protected from creditors. A creditor is saying he will garnish or attach this $. Can he? Thank you.


        40. What if in the divorce settlement agreement I agreed to sign off my portion of the marital home in Lou of a certain amount of his pension because his company that he works for Wish closing down. Anyways, he withdrew the money out of his pension and opened a new account, putting a dollar in it, either one day prior to receiving the divorce to Cree or the day the divorce decree was finalized. We did not have to appear at a court hearing as we agreed at a settlement conference and everything was drafted up. So I complied on my end but he did not and I received this information from his ex employer. When I went to court, the judge ruled to keep case open and award me interest from the date he withdrew until he pays what he agreed to and was drawn up by a referee for the presiding judge and all ordered as such. So, My attorney drew up the paperwork for the marital home issue, in which I signed off in lieu of the agreed pension amount, as his company he’d been working for for many years was closing and moving out of the country. So, I signed off on that and his attorney was supposed to draw up the QDRO.
          Regardless, the company is closed down so how can a QDRO even be drawn up now, as that is what the judge informed me to bring in to proceed. I don’t know where to go from here. I received the information regarding the dates and amounts he took out of his pension and retirement funds from the HR department where he had worked. He clearly is in contempt and also of noncompliance of the divorce decree and settlement hearing.
          He did this intentionally and in complete malice. So I signed over my marital home and never received the agreement to do such. I have nothing and have a medical diagnosis for severe anxiety and panic attacks/disorder, And which I’ve had for over 20 years in way before I was married to him. However, it has significantly increased and left me and he state of despair..
          Also, I never received the agreed-upon property division of personal items either. I believe the judge said the statute was 10 years and this decree was finalized at the end of the 2013 year, so I am approaching deadlines, but have been unable to work on a regular basis for reasons stated above and others. I, myself, filed a notice to appear for noncompliance and what I stated above is what the judge stated..
          I reside in Grand Rapids, Michigan in Kent County. Any help in this matter is greatly appreciated, as this was supposed to be my way of helping myself get started on my own again as well as finding and paying for a new residence until I was financially able to get back on my feet again.
          Due to all of this, I have been residing and have since remained “stuck” in some terrible living conditions.
          Thank you!
          -Amy Knight

          1. It sounds as though you need to ask the court what the pathway is for you to execute on what the judge has ordered. If the funds you are due have been taken out of the plan by your former spouse, you will not be able to get the plan administrator to pay them to you, since they are not there. So ask the judge to make orders that will allow you to collect from your ex, or take the house back, or whatever the best remedy is. And while you are at it, consider asking for sanctions, which are a fine on him from going contra to court orders, and also asking for him to pay your filing fees and attorney costs.

      2. Marcia McGuire

        i have been divorced for 29 years and got nothing in my divorce agreement. i was young and was afraid my ex would try to take my only child. i did not know virginia state divorce laws back in the 80’s. now i am 61 homeless, disabled with a bad heart and jobless. my ex is 10 years older and is retired. he was a government worker. i dont really understand my agreement and need answers.

        1. You’ll need to have someone review your divorce agreement and tell you whether there is anything more that it provides than you have received thus far. Check with the clerk at the courthouse to see what services might be provided in your area.

        2. This answer is not referring to QDRO or divorce.
          In NJ, I suggest you call your BOSS (county Board Social Services) & Social Security about your disability. You may be able to get Dual eligibility under Medicare A/B & Medicaid. Maybe you will financially get Social Security Disability payments then.
          Ask Medicaid or Boss if there are any legal service(s) offered to clients in your situation due to divorce.

          Good luck.

      3. We were married in March of 1974. My ex-husband worked of the DOD. I need to file for my half of his government retirement pension. Where are the forms for this?
        There is no mention of this in our divorce papers. I know his SS#. We were divorced in 1993. I am in dire need to collect this money.
        I was born on April 22, 1953
        He was born on Dec. 27, 1947.

        1. If this issue was not addressed in your divorce agreement, then you may need to get a court order that you are entitled to a share of his pension, before you can file the paperwork the DOD requires (and I don’t have specific knowledge of that, but the DOD pension administrator can guide you in where to find it).

        1. You are probably talking about a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) that is required in order for an employee retirement plan to be divided between the spouses (or former spouses). You can hire someone to prepare it, or possibly the plan administrator can provide a sample approved format that you can follow in preparing the form.

        1. If he is the employee, his pension will go to him, but he will be required to name you as beneficiary to receive payments after his death, unless you agree otherwise in writing. If you are divorced and you are awarded a portion of his pension in the divorce agreement, then you will file a Qualified Domestic Relations Order on the pension plan administration to identify your portion of the pension, and when he begins getting payments, your payments will also begin.

        1. If you were awarded a portion of his retirement, then you should have filed a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). If you did not, do it right away, so the plan administrator knows that you are to get a portion of the retirement. When your ex reaches the earliest age at which he could retire, you can begin getting payments from the plan.

      4. He had been silent v this c entire time. I have been nleft to stress & duffer. He remarried. I Couldn’t get any representation what about me, my work x my efforts. I am still being betrayed & left fearing?

      5. Sandy Edwards

        I live in Illinois msrried 33 yrs. my ex just retired law says I should receive half of his monthly retirement payout but was never given any paperwork to fill out for a QDRO we have been divorced for 7 yrs and he just retired

        1. No one will give you any paperwork. You have to pay someone,usually a QDRO specialist, to prepare the paperwork, which is called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. Get that prepared as soon as possible, and meanwhile, look at your divorce agreement to see if it says anything about any payments that your ex might receive from the plan that rightfully belongs to you. If it doesn’t, then until the QDRO is prepared and accepted by the plan administrator, you’ll either need to reach an agreement with him that he’ll turn your part over to you each month or you’ll need to get a court order that instructs him to do so, or better yet, instructs the plan not to make payments to him until the QDRO has been approved.

    1. What kind of Lawyer due I need to get the money from my Ex husband’s retirement account? I was entitled to 1/2 but settled for $17K, what kind of lawyer in texas do I need?

      1. You need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order specialist (who is not necessarily an attorney) to draw up the QDRO and serve it on the plan administrator. Ask your attorney for a referral or use your search engine to search for one in your area.

    2. My ex divorce me years ago out of town were not able to pull my kids out oy school and head out of town we were married for thirty some years am I entirely to any thing did not sign any thing

    3. My husband will be 62 years old next year that when his pension Will vested how can I started to get what the court award me he is with the Dade county School board

      1. If you have the QDRO in place, ask the plan administrator what paperwork is needed for your payments to begin. If you haven’t filed the QDRO to notify the plan administrator that part of the plan is yours, do that right away.

    4. Hi,
      I got my qdro approved by the plan administrator and the court system In New Jersey can I received a lump sum

      1. Once your former spouse is eligible for retirement, you can receive payment in whatever way the plan allows. You can ask the plan administrator what the earliest date is that you can begin receiving payments and what your options are at that time for payment under the plan.

    5. I am in need of help. I can’t afford to pay my lawyer $1500 just to file for a judgement of non payment . Occurring to the divorce agreement my ex husband’s retirement Ira , i was suppose to receive half of his payment. which was in our divorce settlement and he stop paying . I need to file for quad settlement since he as retired.

    6. If I receive a QDRO from my ex-husband’s pension Monthly, and he passes away, will my benefits increase?Neither I nor my ex-husband ever remarried. What happens to the remaining funds that he was receiving for his pension? Wouldn’t I be entitled to some type of death benefit?

      1. If you are receiving payments from retirement plan funds that were allocated to you via a QDRO, your payments will continue. If your ex elected to receive his payout for his life, then the payments to him will cease upon his death. If he elected to take a smaller monthly benefit in exchange for a payment to a beneficiary, then his payments would cease and the payments to the beneficiary would begin.

  2. verdell rosalez

    himy husband is a alcholic and verbally abusive we have been married 8 years he has a retirement plan am i eligibe to get anything

      1. I was married for 24 yrs, divorced quick 90 day finalized 1.5 yrs ago, we had qdro paid out to pay off debts, now he is getting laid-off, and getting a big chunk of money from his retirement, am I entitled to half of it? We love on Pa, also my name is still on mortgage, but he had me take it off deed, am I entitled to half of it if he sells it, his new girlfriend now lives with him, and my name is on mortgage. ….I wasn’t in the right state of mind when I signed everything, and now I feel like I signed my life away

      1. You are not quarantined 1/2. It’s usually 1/2 of the years you were married. 16 hrs of marriage equates to 8 yrs of his time served. If he worked 40 yrs he would retain 32 yrs of pension and the spouse 8 yrs….if his rate is $80 per year served per month the spouse would retain 8×80=$640 per month.

    1. You have to be married 10 years at least to get a portion of your ex 501k. And /or retirement. It’s only a % . Longer your married after 10 years the more % you your sol.get a job

      1. NJ is 20 years to split finances which includes home. When main provider retires, alimony gets re-visited. But you still get your share pension & such. Think majority states are same.

        Just find a few lawyers who will do free consult. They do that.

        1. Kimberly Williams

          Ivet been divorce for 3 years i recently filled a default jugdement do to the fact my husband lied & put the divorce in the newspaper now he is talken early pension plans i was contacted from his job to send the pension department my address what does that mean please thanks

      2. what happened see the ex-husband remarries at you again and it stays married for a year and divorce in case he dies do I still get my retirement that I’m getting all ready from his job since he’s retires and 2007 in case he dies will still be getting it or she’ll get it the second wife

  3. If divorce papers were filed 5 years ago, is it necessary to get lawyer to get his retirement ? And if filed in one county and moved to other do I have to refile?

    1. Those legal questions are dependent on the laws of your state, so you’ll need to ask your attorney for guidance. If the divorce was not finalized, in some states the case is dismissed 5 years from filing and you have to start over. To distribute a portion of an employee’s retirement plan to the ex-spouse, there need to be legal documents filed and served on the plan administrator.

      1. I can’t seem to get the answer to this question anywhere. Husband has an individual retirement account. He had 400k in it when we got married and it is up to 600k. We have been married over 10 years. This money is in a self directed real estate IRA and I am the property manager.
        . I have been the designated beneficiary for the last 10 years. My question. Can he take me off as beneficiary at any time ( because it is his individual account?) Am I entitled to half of value of gain over 10 years since we have been married on this account? ie do I get half of the 200k gain? Which would be 100k ( I am rounding all this off of course). I googled this question every which way I can and I can’t seem to get a good answer. I live in California a community property state. I also have interspousal transfers to two houses that are my sole and separate property. They have gained in value as well. Do I owe my husband any gains? Thank you…know this is a older post but I am hoping you will answer this? diane.

        1. I don’t see why he couldn’t remove you as beneficiary at any time. If no funds have been invested into the account during your marriage, then the entire account is his separate property.

          As for the houses, if they are in your name alone, but you have made improvements or paid down mortgages from community funds, then there is a marital interest for the community contributions plus part of the appreciation, and you’d owe him half of that.

          If they are in joint names, then they would belong to both of you, but you’d have a separate property interest roughly equal to the equity at the date they were put into both names.

        2. I was divorced after 13 years and our 401ks were added together .and divided. I had 140k he had 47k.but I had mine 5 years before we divorced. That portion was not included. They add both up that’s a cumulative when married. He got 25k.of mine. And didn’t roll it over into his.he spent it in 3 months. Now broke and living with mommy at age 60

          1. Corrections. I had my 401k 5 years b4 we got married he did not get any of that portion.

          2. I have a similar question on this matter, this month I will be married 9 years and we are not seeing eye to eye on marriage long story short he quit his full time job last June and did not work for about 4 months, took out his 401k and spent all of it. I’ve been on my job 27 in half years and I want to know if he is entitled to any of my 401k. I have a teenager daughter that’s not his and she is beneficiary of this account. My other question is do I need to hang in there for another year or run while I have chance to protect me & my daughter future!

      2. I have been divorced for over a year been trying to get half of my exhusbands 401k it’s been one thing after the other now I am told that everything is done that needs to be done I have to get papers asking for the Quadro where do I get those papers from..or at least where I would like for it to go.

          1. i was ordered half of my exwife retirement from the court she has a 401a adro plan can i get the money too start my new life

          2. You’ll need a QDRO to segregate your share of the plan. If the plan allows funds to be transferred out, then you can get current distribution and pay tax on it. If not, then the funds will need to stay in place until they can be distributed in the future.

          3. You can’t get any of the pension until late she retires and starts drawing on it first. At her retirement. As far as 401k. Yeah you can get your part .but if you don’t role it over to a 401k plan they tax the heck out of it and you gave to claim it as income on your tax return .or you can be a man and earn your own. So Nanyang people think it’s right to steal 401ks and pensions. You could of earned your own .but no ,take take take.

          4. Saw an attorney this morning,seemed to be a disgruntled divorced (he is) gentleman. He told me it was extremely difficult to complete a QDRO, gave me a card of some firm that ‘only’ charges $500+ to have it done. I looked at him & asked ‘why am I here again’. Thus after telling me that he couldn’t do anything to help?? Is there someone that can send me the forms? I need to file ASAP. Please assist. Thank you!

          5. You can call the plan administrator and ask them whether they have a prototype you can use to prepare the QDRO yourself. But be careful, there are provisions that may not be clear to you that could work against you if you do them wrong. The QDRO specialist will know what you should do to get your best benefit.

        1. Your attorney was supposed to take care of that .good luck. Otherwise get a job and earn your own

      3. I was married for 11 years.How can you find an attorney that can advise you on this? My divorce attorney didn’t know anything about how to go about this. All I was told is it I would get half of his retirement and pension.


          1. You might consider the fact that people are asking advice from the CPA, CFP Not u. Every state has their own laws concerning these marital property and pension/retirement/Ira questions. Sounds like u had to pay out, and ur mad. Ok, but others here are looking for help not lectures. I will say there is freedom of speech and we could all just avoid reading your insulting, degrading comments. Try a little Tenderness, great Three Dog Night song and works great for your karma.

          2. What Kim m. Sai. Noone is asking you. Everyone’s situation is different . Divorce is not a license to steal. I was married 26 years, worked part time and full time on and off for m ost of the marriage. Raised three kids without his hep and out up with verbal abuse for MN any of those years. He decided he wanted to be with the love of his life, kicked me and the kids to the curb and I lost everything. At my age tr Ying to find a decent paying job is next to impossible. I am entitled to his pension and 401k so please keep your opinions to yourself and let the expert talk.

  4. Patricia Cooper

    My aunt has been married for 28 years to her soon to be ex-husband. He is drawing his retirement and she is 52. Will she be able to receive her portion now to live on or do she have to wait? If I understand it correctly she can now and pay taxes on it. Also is it half of the retirement? His lawyer is saying a third. We are in KY.

    1. She will receive a portion of the payment that is currently going to him, and she will not have to wait. I don’t know Kentucky rules, but in many states the spouse’s portion is 50% of the marital portion based on the time he was in the plan while married divided by the time he was in the plan in total. So if he was married for 2/3 of the time he participated in the plan, then she would be entitled to 1/3 of the benefit. This issue should be addressed in her divorce agreement.

    2. My husband had me to sign papers while I was sick with my oxygen lever dropping can I take him back to count I signed almost everything to him because I wasn’t in the right state of mind .we divorced in Aug can I still take him back

      1. No.once the papers are signed that’s final. Maybe you could go back to school and learn how to spell

        1. says:
          June 9, 2016 at 4:15 pm
          You have to be married 10 years at least to get a portion of your ex 501k. And /or retirement. It’s only a % . Longer your married after 10 years the more % you your sol.get a job

          Denise M May says:
          June 9, 2016 at 4:17 pm
          401k I ment

          You were saying?

          1. The laws differ from state to state, and most states do not require that you be married for 10 years to get your share of your spouse’s 401(k) earned during marriage. Check with an attorney to find out what the laws are where you live.

  5. My husband and i have been divorced since 2006..In our divorce it states that i get half of his 401k from the time we were married up until when our divorce was final.. I have not received anything.. hes going to b quiting his job and moving out of state,how do i get my half before he draws out his plan and leaves state with All of it ???will I have get a lawyer to file the QRDO? Or is there a way I can file for that by myself??my lawyer is no longer in practice as a lawyer she is now a states attorney..Please help i Dont know what to do and Dont think its fare if i have to pay for another lawyer when in my divorce papers it Already says i am entitled to half..

    1. Contact the company to let them know that your divorce decree says that you are entitled to half the 401(k) and ask them what additional paperwork they need. They probably have a proforma fill-in-the-blanks QDRO that you and your former spouse can file with them. Having it done professionally is always preferable, but if you can’t afford that, then see if you can do it yourself. But get it done ASAP before something happens — you are at risk until you do.

  6. My ex is retiring in Jan 2014 happy for him.. and happy for me too because I do get some of his retirement I donated to during out marriage.. thou together 20 yrs only actually married 9 1/2. At time of divorce in 2000 he was making 94,000 (now 125,000) he gets 80% of his income for retirement.. how will I figure this out? I worry he will low ball me and I wont know any better.. there was a lump sum done at the time of the divorce in 2000 by an estuary (spell check) for 56,000 but he only wanted t o give me 30,000.. at the time I was working and getting alimony and child support so I choose to wait until her retired.. I became disabled in 2010 and no longer working, I really need to get an accurate number so I wont get low balled.. is there an online calculator to give me some idea? thanks!! Renee

    1. Your divorce decree will tell what you are to get. If you were awarded a percentage of his retirement and served a Qualified Domestic Relations Order on the plan administrator, your portion will be paid to you directly by the retirement plan. If not, and your ex has not yet retired, then you’ll need to get that QDRO in place right away. If your decree says simply that your ex will pay you a percentage of his retirement as he receives it, then you will need to request proof of how much that is, such as a copy of the check he receives or a pay stub.

  7. I was awarded half my ex husband’s pension and the QADRO and was signed by the judge. All the paperwork was turned into my ex’s pension plan months ago, my husband is past 55, and I still have not received anything from the pension company. I have called the person handling my QARDO personally on 4 occasions, everytime he tells me I will “hear from him next week.” This has been going on since May 2004 and it is now Sept. 2014. What should I do next?

  8. I have a horrible situation right now….I left my job 11 yrs ago and have received less than $600 in SS a month. I am covered by spouse health ins. Married 40 yrs. 57 & 58…he has always had the control of money and now receives testosterone. Inj that has completely changed him as a human being. He has cognitive problems that he denies and has been inappropriate on the internet. He is either at work or gone, we have no friends or extended family besides 2 grown sons which I an get no understanding from. He acts different around them. The stress is so bad that I feel like I am having a nervous breakdown at times. I am tryinv to work on better pain control but know it does not mean I will earn a living at my age. I always stayed home with kids so my husband could always work as much as he said he had to, only gtting my first full time job at 42, it only lasted 4 yrs…..I have called apts. And they tell me I have to have three times the rent in my income….I have no credit by myself….my husband has tied all money in property or his 401k..He even forged my name on my last 20k and put in his 401k instead of the small one I had started at 42…..I am lost and feel he has thrown me away….I am alone 99%of my life……my question….Does a judge usually award alimony with part of 401k? How does someone like me even be able to live in an apt if I have no income enough to qualify…he refuses to talk to me about most every topic but finances is out of the question…..i wonder sometimes if he is waiting to retire, in about 5 yrs…..will he have to give me alimony then? I. have no money to see an attorney. Thank You for your time in reading this.

      1. Do you know of any situation where retirement funds such as pension and 401k plans have to notify the beneficiary of any money that has been moved? Are there irrevocable provisions owners of these plans can put in place for spouses who stayed in marriages as long as 40 years? I made the home a comfortable place for my spouse and children neglecting my own career needs, even after going through a 2 yr college. I am afraid my spouse is having cognitive problems and will not seek help. I have tried to get him to discuss our finances but keeps asking me what I am talking about. I am afraid he is going to make bad financial decisions. And the personal stress associated with this is overwhelming for me. Thanks for your answer.

    1. You are entitled to 50% of his pension, 401k’s and IRA’s that were earned during your marriage. You are also entitled to spousal support for 1/3 of the number of years your were married. If you were married 21 years you would get 7 years spousal support. You can ask the court for emergency funding to get your set up in an apartment too. DON’T settle for less.

      1. Yeah take him for a ride get all you can get.its free ,you didn’t earn it ,so you deserve it. Geesh.I will never get married again. Prenuptial for sure

    2. I am disabled and did not take Medicare because my husband has really wonderful insurance. We are on the brink of Divorce. I’m scared I can’t make it alone on what SS pays me. I’m 65 years old and have
      not an idea what he makes per week. I know it must be plenty enough to keep us going cause on his yearly income papers I noticed it was over 75k. He has a large amount in his 401k. Why I’m telling you
      all this?
      He tells me ” I won’t get one red cent from him he’s already spoke to his attorneys”. Can this be? I’m so afraid. I don’t have any family and no where really to go. And I just don’t think it’s fair because I have put my share in this house just as he has, not as much as him but as much as I could. Not to mention keeping the inside clean and decorated, for his so called associates to visit. Isn’t that just Dandy?
      I have rheumatoid arthritis. I fell and broke my neck many years ago it fused itself back together. When the arthritis got into it I had to have surgery. This is not a pity story, Please believe me. I’m only looking for advise. Why, because he beat me up 3 nights ago and my right arm looks like it’s been run thru a thrasher. Thank you all for listening to my complaints. May God watch over all of you…..Vicky.

      1. I don’t know what the laws are in your state, but I doubt they are as your husband states. The worst person to take legal advice from is your soon-to-be ex. Consult with an attorney right away to find out your rights.

      2. you have many rights……and yes you are usually entitled to half of whatever he has in retirement plans

        you should be able to draw half of his SS if you were married more than ten years

        dont believe a word he says……you HAVE to get a good lawyer

        you can pay the lawyer with the proceeds you receive from his retirement and your current checking and savings account

        get an attorney and get moving……they can find where he has moved money to if he claims its all gone

        dont sit there and take that anymore…..GET MOVING

    3. Alimony is bs,if you got kids get child support ,of not GET A JOB YOUR GROWN HE ISN’T YOUR DADDY.

      1. Maybe he insisted she stay home & care for the kids, or wait until they were older to finish school, & she was never able to. She may not have the ability to make enough income to support herself & their kids. There are some cultures that give the man all the say, but I think you’d rather
        “Punish” her, & see her & her kids homeless!
        (I think you are a man anyway)….


        1. I was married for 34 years and made more money than my spouse and we had 4 children. He simply refused to put anything into his 401k because he knew he would be getting an inheritance from his parents. In the end after all these years of my actually investing in my retirement…..he gets half plus his parents estate. Go figure. And he will not pay for the quadro which probably will mean I will have to. So typical of our marriage.

  9. How long after the attorney receives payment to process QDRO does it take. Should I be expecting a check soon, I made payment with attorney three weeks ago. My marriage ended because I wasn’t making enough money , to see her career grow and have move seven times. My work was not priority since I started a painting business, she was in the Air Force , I moved so much was hard to start over a new business. I did it again in Utah moved entire house for her and children started new business , only this time she got a high tech job, again making good money and good benefits. One day upset about money she asked me how long I had been saving and how much I had. I kind of laughed and wonder are you serious everything I made I had to spend on us, The only money set aside is the Social Security money but I don’t have a retirement fund 401(k) or IRA. All she needed was a reason to get out .so one day her mom ,sister ,father and brother in law got upset with me for complaining at Bear lake one night, that in 3 days she called from attorney’s office to finalize our marriage. I cried like someone ripped my heart out we were married 18 years and she took my family, wife, kids, home, insurance, benefits, few friends we had . I lost everything she wanted even more. Why can someone make a law that says first you prove you need a divorce , second you prove you tried everything including hrs of counseling to reconcile , and third the separation can be allowed once both have given a fair chance to act civil and respectful. Work on the differences don’t say they are irreconcilable until there is proof. My ex took me out like I was a dirty filthy painter lowlife .im so much more than that .So I guess I’m ok and now I’m better my crying has almost stopped I still miss them. They even took my dog. I only see my kids for a few hrs 3 times a week. I almost killed myself with a knife to my throat once it made me so mad. Why can people learn to respect and love their spouses more. thanks for letting us pour our heart out and get your God given gift to help us , the victims.

    1. If the QDRO has been prepared and filed with the court, then it shouldn’t take long for the court to process, depending on the backlog. But if the payment you made was just to begin the process, then the paperwork would have to be prepared and submitted to the company, which would request any changes they want, and then look at it again, before it is approved for filing. That back and forth could take several months.

      1. I did not know where to start another question…I understand a lot of what I’ve read in here, but, back to the NYC MTA, the QDRO atty/paralegal never got pre-approval from NYC MTA bec. they never responded to 2 previous submissions asking for the LANGUAGE to be approved. So finally, last week they (QDRO people) submitted a third set of papers, this one had already been signed by a judge w/o pre-approval of language. Looked like they were directing it to a different person this time, but the same address. So, if the NYC MTA gets the papers in the mail THIS MONTH, APRIL OF 2018, do they have to start holding a part of my ex’s pension until they determine the language is correct, process the amount per the formula in the QDRO & BEFORE 18 months has passed? OR CAN THEY JUST ALLOW THE PAPERS TO SIT & COLLECT DUST (like they did w/ the 2 previous submissions) & not pick them up, or pick them up a year from now & then work on them? In other words, ***shouldn’t they have to at least process retroactive to the month the docs were received?*** I know you told me last week, they had 18 months, but 18 months from court ordered papers being served, or 18 mos. from 1st contact w/ papers sent for pre-approval? Why should I have to keep going w/o $$ bec. some entity is not sifting through their paperwork? BTW, I have a friend who worked there years ago & she said they do nothing all day, paperwork gets backed up etc. & she was not surprised. WHY AREN’T THEY HELD ACCOUNTABLE? They are holding up my $$$ !!! This is going on forever, it seems!

    2. I am sorry! I hope you are doing fine. I feel your pain, you know… I really do. There are lot of things for you to do in life and ease your pain, don’t try to hurt yourself, love everybody, especially your enemies, forgive them. Do you believe in Karma? She will have her turn to pay back someday.

  10. I have been divorced for 4 years now and was awarded half of my ex’s retirement but the attorney wanted $500 more dollars to fe the paperwork for getting the retirement and I just don’t have that kind of money … Is there a time limit on filing the paperwork and can I do it myself ?

      1. Hi I have kinda the same thing, we were ordered in the divorce papers to have the Qdro married for 22 years, done we were told to split the cost of the Qdro I paid a law office my 1/2 to start it they sent him paper work he never replied so the lawyer sent the paperwork that i paid 300.00 for back saying there was nothing more they could do for me that was 5 years ago now he says his union sent him papers asking why the Qdro wasn’t complete ? he saying now he will never be able to retire cause of me? I don’t understand ? He wants me to sign off that way i get nothing he is saying if not he will have to work till he dies well he can retire now he has 30 years in that union . I have no more money to pay out for another lawyer I don’t know what to do our paper work states that im entitled to 12 the pension of those years together.

        1. You and he need to get the QDRO prepared and filed ASAP. Apparently the pension administrator was put on notice that a QDRO order was pending, and so it sounds like they can’t make any payments to either of you until the QDRO is filed.

    1. i was divorced in 1994,was married to him for 20 years and have 3 children with him,I was granted part of his retirement in the divorce aggreement,I just found out he was laid off with the company in 2010,and took lump sum in his retirement,I have not been notified of anything,i heard he put the money some place not to be touched until now he is starting to draw funds from it.Is it failure to comply by court order by him not paying me my part.He has known all along where i have lived,but i don’t have his address or any info about him,this was a very abusive marriage and terrible drawn out divorce so when it was over,i have tryed my best to stir clear of him,so what should i do,i am disabled and on a very fixed income and cannot afford to hire an attorney.

      1. You can’t afford to let him keep the money, so talk to an attorney. Many give a free first consultation. You should have filed a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to protect your interest in the retirement plan, but it isn’t too late to get your money, just more legal hassle. Take action now — you need the money.


      The paperwork is not complicated……the plan administrator has an obligation to assist you in many cases…..

      Press them for assistance……its your money

  11. I live in Seattle, WA and divorce was final on September 17, 2014 . My ex husband’s 401k and pension were divided 50/50. Please advise me on how I may give these benefits back to my husband to pay for our daughter’s education, wedding,etc. He absorbed ALL of the debt, provided a car and alimony ! He also paid for the legal fees ! We have known each other for 30 years, and I want to give back what he rightfully earned . Thank You for your time ! ~ Lee in Seattle

  12. I have been Divorced for four yrs now & Our settlement was made my our Att’s. I have all the paper work etc stating the QDRO’S but my question is, how safe is it to have this done on line? I see even on this site advert to do your QDRO’S for you for a certain amt $$ ie., (299.00).
    Also is there a time limit this needs to be done?, I was adv by my Att no time limit. But my ex-husband & I just turned 65yrs but he has not retired yet.
    Thank you!

    1. If the page is secure where you post your information and the people running the website are competent, then you could certainly do a QDRO online. Get the QDRO in place right away, so that if he retires or dies you get your benefit without having to go to court and fight for it.

      1. Hi Ginita,
        I am very glad to find you on such a forum where I need help and understanding of the retirement accounts. My marriage was short 3 years but I’m entitled to 50% of my ex retirement accounts. We already have QDRO’s signed by the court and also shared and approved by the plan administrator. Now my question is for some retirement accounts , i can get nothing till he retires or leaves the job. Also another retirement account is to open an IRA. So could you please tell me what is the best option and which is a good place to open an IRA?? Moreover, since QDROs are in place, can he tamper with the accounts by taking out all money ? And leaving me with nothing? Or he can’t do that ??

        1. Once the QDRO is in place in a retirement account they will not let him draw out the portion that is identified as yours. You may gain peace of mind by having the funds transferred to an IRA that you open and manage yourself with a mutual fund company or other financial institution.

      2. charmainet turner

        Hi Mrs Wall I have had QDRO filled out twice they said it was not word right can you tell me what to do it was discussed at the time of my divorce but it is in pay status he is 20,500 behind in childsupport what do I do

        1. Tell the professional who filled out the QDRO to communicate with the plan administrator and rewrite it so that is meets their standards for wording. And make sure that your divorce agreement makes provisions for you getting your share of the retirement plan payouts from your husband until the QDRO is accepted. Better yet, your divorce agreement may require the plan to withhold all payments until the QDRO is approved. As for the child support arrearages, your divorce agreement may provide that you can get payments directly from his income sources (such as an employer, if he has one, or possibly the retirement plan) if he falls behind. If it doesn’t, find out what you need to file with the courts to get an enforcement action so you can get paid. And don’t forget that he probably owes you statutory interest on the arrearages in child support. That can really add up.

  13. Part of our divorce settlement is to split my husbands QRDO, we have not gotten our final divorce degree finished but agree to the split with both attorneys. We both would like to cash it out for living expenses. If we wait until the finalization, we understand there will be a extra fee. How do we split it and determine taxes? do we let them take it from the top. $50k

    1. Your husband does not have a QDRO, he has a 401(k) or pension or other retirement plan. You use a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to split his retirement plan. The QDRO could provide that you get all the funds in the plan, and that they go to you directly rather than into an IRA. You would have to pay the income taxes on them, and then your divorce agreement could provide that you’ll give him the net amount realized after taxes.

    2. Hi ive been divorced .almost 18 years my husbend worked at his job for 17 years iam 60 years old and fild a Qrow. Iam in tideld to 50 persent of his retirment .how much will i get and dose a regular pention bill intrest

  14. I’ve been married for 21 years we have four children together, one is an adult now but I got three minors ages 16, 11, 10. What are my legal rights? I live in Texas. He has a 401k which he’s had the whole entire course of our marriage, would I be entitled to some? Would I be able to get alimony? Does he have the right to say I can’t leave Texas? Our kids want to live with me and have told him but he wants them to have to stay with him. What can happen? I’m worried. I appreciate any help y’all can give me, thanks.

  15. My husband blind sided me with a divorce and closed all the accounts on our children and me. He was rewarded a portion of my IRA for me getting the house. It states that I have to have my attorney do a QDRO to get him the money. I spoke to Wells Fargo who handles my account and they said he could just open up a IRA account with them and I could fill out the paperwork and send them my final divorcee degree signed and I would be good that way and not be taxed. My CPA told me the same thing. Is this accurate? I just want to make sure so I don’t get taxes. My attorney wants to charge me $1500 to prepare the QRDO and as a prior stay at home mom looking for a job and him closing the accounts, I don’t have that extra money to spend to have my attorney prepare this.

  16. I’ve been divorced since July 3rd 2014 and I’m entiled to half the 401k. I can’t seem to get anything accomplished from my attorney. 2 months after the divorce I had a meeting with him to go over some things in our decree including the 401k. Its been another 3 months now and I talked to him just before Thanksgiving; he said he was going to call my ex’s attorney the first thing Monday morning to see what’s going on with the 401k. I’ve called him everyday for the last two weeks now and he won’t return my phone calls. I’m wondering if this is something I can do on my own or if I should just wait until he decides to do what he’s paid to do? I really don’t want to hire another attorney; is something I should worry about? It’s been 5 months and nothings been done since we signed the decree. I feel I’ve waited long enough, but if I’m in no danger of losing my half then I’d feel a bit relieved since it seems like the waiting game isn’t ending any time soon.

    1. You are not in danger of losing your half, but it will be a hassle if your ex dies and you want to get your half. So you need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order in place as soon as possible. Ask your attorney to recommend someone to you who specializes in drawing up QDROs.

  17. No longer comatose

    I am presently going through a very difficult divorce. I have been married for 23 years. The relationship has been emotionally abusive (most often controlling through the use of money and threats) and has ended with physical aggression (no broken bones so this means almost nothing in the courts). My husband is a narcissist and shows signs of psychopathic behavior. If you know of these disorders, they can be some of the most harmful emotionally abusive situations. I am currently receiving counseling for this. As my eyes are opening and I am finding my strength and my brain again (coming out of my ‘coma’), I am really struggling with, what seems to be, the unfairness of divorce in our judicial system. I have supported my husband and his career for 23 years. He went from an income of 30K initially when we were married to 5 or 6+ times that amount plus stock options and bonuses over the years- all while I took care of everything short of income and finances. He demanded full control of all our money. While we are in a state that is no fault and all of our current assets are split 50-50, please help me to understand why alimony is based on my current living expenses which total 1/5th of his income. He will keep the other portion to do with as he pleases which includes, but is not limited to, adding to his future retirement funds that I will have no access to. My spending is such because my children and I have lived with a man that refused to spend and share his income. He and I both agreed to my staying home with our children. I also spent several years homeschooling my children and they are currently in college on academic scholarships. I could have easily been the one who became successful in a career outside of our home and that would have put me in the position to earn the income he is now making and allowed me to invest in my future. Instead, after supporting him, I am now 50 years old, out of the work force for years, and having difficulty finding a job that would even pay 1/5th of what he earns. And I can no longer put money away for my future. I will continue to live in a financial situation that was less than fair (based on our income) and not have the extra 150K+ that he will have to do with as he pleases. How, in any way, is this just?

    1. Is there a limit on how long a woman can wait before she draws the money from the 401 account? After 29 years, we were divorced in 2008 and she still hasn’t taken her share. Is there a point where she takes so long, she forfeits it?

    2. the judge will tell you that you are entitled to the same standard of living as he is post-divorce….

      so dont accept the lie that your alimony should be based on your current living expenses

      a good attorney is aware of this…..get one….they are worth a lot…just do your homework and know what they will charge you beofre you sign up with one….

      look out for yourself lady…you ex certainly will not in most cases

      despite what everyone says in the beginning…divorces are rarely amicable in the end….its just the way it is

      1. Joe, no judge in this day and age will say she is entitled to “the same standard of living as he is post divorce!” Alimony and support is limited at best! You must be from a different era…

    3. It don’t matter what he did to you as far as what you get from the divorce. Everything is split the same ,thanks for sharing

  18. I just went through the same type of situation. I am also on disability. I just up and left everything. The only difference was that he had been giving me $800 to help me live on my own for the last 3 years. Then one day I get a knock on the door and was served with divorce papers. Well, he makes close to $90,000 a year and of course could afford an attorney. No attorney would give me the time of day without at least a $5,000 Retainer Fee. I had no money for an attorney. I did my whole divorce myself just from reading everything online. There is a section that states if you do not have the funds for court fees, they will wave them, so I filled out that paperwork (that I also found online) followed the very easy instructions and all of my fees were waved. Then when my exes attorney sent me a “STIPULATED JUDGEMENT” (which is just what he thinks he should pay was a joke as far as I was concerned) Anything that is written in a STIPULATION is law, if you sign it. For example: My ex wanted to only pay me $800 a month for Alimony, when he brings home almost $7200 a month, and ONLY UNTIL HE REACHES RETIREMENT AGE! I know my husband well enough to know that he will not retire at 65. So I just took the STIPULATED JUDGEMENT that they were offering me and rewrote it and added what I WANTED! The main thing I changed was that I wanted $1500 a month Alimony UNTIL HE “ACTUALLY RETIRES”..(not when he reaches retirement age) Because the divorce was filed in California, I (by California law) was untitled to 1/2 of his 401-K, and half of the EQUITY in our home..(I did not want the house) We also owned out rite a condo in Las Vegas (which is in the ghetto and wasn’t worth much) I also wrote into “MY STIPULATION” that because my husband was only willing to give me $11,900 from the EQUITY (which is about $12,000 less than it was worth) and for that reason I would take in trade for not giving me actually HALF of the which should have been around $26,000, that I would take the condo off his hands because he didn’t want it anyway. I used no attorney for anything and here is what I ended up getting 1) $1100 a month alimony instead of $1500
    2) $121,000 in my own IRA (which is half of his 401-K) Make sure that you read about using a QDRO..They are the only one that can do the transfer of your husbands 401-K..VERY IMPORTANT! I have sold the condo for $15,000 from the sale of the condo (which I did not owe taxes on because it was paid off and I sold it for way less that what we ought it for..So for someone not knowing anything about divorce law, I think I did very well. YOU CAN DO THIS TOO. You can live on your alimony and your disability alone, without touching the 401-K..So, write it in your STIPULATION that your husband is to pay for the QDRO because he makes way more money than you. You should also talk to a financial advisor about wjere you should put you part of his 401-K..They will help you invest it and it will draw interest. When you do have to use some of it, you will only be taxed on the amount you use, which shouldn’t be much because you are in a low tax bracket..My name is Judy and if you have a question about where you should start looking for what you need to do to start, feel free to email me. I will point you in the right direction..for no charge at all. I was in the same situation and no one would help me either. Here is my email:
    Good luck to you..Judy

    1. Judy, I have been reading this site and see that you are one knowledgeable person,. I need some advice, and can’t afford an attorney. I have been on disability since 2010 and get 976 a month and awarded spousal support last October and just learned he is leaving town. We are not divorced yet, He has the marital home, and is selling everything, What do I do? Also he will be retiring. Help,

        1. Thank you for your reply. I did as you said, I went to J & D who set the spousal support, and to Civil Court and they as much as looked at me and said “What do we care”? I can’t afford an legal advice, he’s paid thousands for an attorney who guides him. I know in i right to the marital assets but can’t seem to stop him selling them. Even a court hearing i can’t prove it they say. This system is so messed up for women that are cast aside, Even legal aid can’t help me, Not unless violence happens. So in short this man walks away with thousands of dollars to give me what he thinks I deserve and i rent a room the rest of my life. at an age of 60. Who would of known? I sure didn’t. I wish I could tell ever women, beware, save money, and wait until the day when you are cast away like the trash one day. I sure hope soon, I find a way to learn something from someone who can guide me, October is fast approaching, and soon, he will divorce me on his terms because i have no one. How sorrowful. Thank you for answering me, and if you think of anything, let me know.

  19. My divorce was final November 13, 2014..Because it was a California divorce, and we were married for 30 years, I was entitled to have of the equity in our home, half of his 401-K (apx $121,000) and a condo that was supposed to be Quick Claimed to me only..He has been paying the alimony, but has not signed the Quick Claim Deed yet and it was ,ailed to him on December 3, 2014. He still has not contacted his appointed QDRO to transfer my half into my IRA. He will not answer any phone calls from me or texts either. I have left at least 8 messages on his company cell and he will not call me. I had no money for an attorney and did it all myself and got everything I wanted except for $400 more in alimony. What is my next step in getting him to full fill his Court Ordered Divorce Decree? Am I going to have to file a CONTEMPT OF COURT? Or garnish his 401-K because he isn’t doing anything about signing the Quick Claim Deed and has not been in touch with the QDRO? I hate to be mean, but I have to look after myself. I am living on less than $2,000 a month and he makes close to $7,200 a month. Hope you have an answer. Oh, is there a time limit on how long he has to contact a QDRO? Thanks for any help..Judy Anstess

    1. If your divorce papers say that he is to sign certain documents and he refuses, then you can ask the court to sign a representative, called an elisor, to sign on his behalf. If he is not taking steps to begin the QDRO, you should take that into your hands and do so.

    2. I don’t know if it stated his retirement funds in our divorce papers but where I live is 50/50 state. He passed awhile ago n named another beneficiary. Am I entitled to 1/2 the state where he lived was different.

  20. I’m divorced. I was rewarded 1/2 my husbands pention during the years we were married. He took a buy out with the company. He is 57 . I’m 50 and will be receiving my ” check ” with in the month. Can I cash it? Do I have to give it to a financial advisor ? And why ? If i have to give it to him can I keep some? I don’t understand… I never intended it to be my retirement money and I could use it now .

  21. My best friend has been divorced for several years. According to her divorce, and Qdro agreement, her husband agreed to have his pension continue on after his death until she died. At some point he signed off on this agreement with his retirement company. They are now telling her she is only covered till his death. Can they legally change a divorce agreement like this??
    Thanks so much!

    1. If the QDRO provides that her portion is segregated from his, then hers should survive his death. If not, then you’ll need to get an attorney to review it to see what it does say. A QDRO and divorce agreement cannot bestow greater benefits on either party than the plan itself allows.

  22. Sandra Gowettt

    I am divorced ! I have retirement available to me & half to my ex spouse? He has no qdro on file. Will this hold up my half?.

  23. I received money from my first husbands retirement plan 25 years ago and I rolled it over to a Traditional IRA in my name. If I were to get a divorce in my second marriage, would my current husband be entitled to any of this money from my first husbands retirement plan? I have not contributed anything to this during my second marriage.

  24. My sister was awarded a portion of her ex-husbands retirement when they divorced over 20 years ago. Last year she found out that he retired 5 years ago and she hadn’t gotten a cent. She hired an attorney and after a long process, she was awarded the amount due. He paid her $35,000 and then sent her a 1099 form. She doesn’t feel and really can’t afford to pay taxes on this as a windfall amount. Is there any way for her to just pay on the portion that she should have been getting each year for the last 5 years.

  25. My wired signed. Our divorce papers and then ripped them into pieces… can I still use that contract with her signiture Even though she ripped it up? I could rely use some guidance

    1. You are not divorced until your paperwork is filed with the court and approved. If you can’t piece the divorce papers back together, you’ll probably have to get her to sign another copy. If she agreed in court to sign, then you can compel her to do so. Otherwise, you and she will have to negotiate a settlement and write it up into a document that she signs. Check with your attorney to see if there’s anything else that you can do under your state’s laws.

  26. april thornton

    My mother recently divorced my stepfather back in June or July. During mediation he agreed to pay her like 1000 dollars a month that was supposed to get my mother through March when her pension was gonna kick in when she turns 60 at the end of march.and come to find out she was not able to receive her pension at 60 and has to wait until she 62 the lawyer did not verify the information and now my mother is left with no income as she was a housewife what is there if any to do in a situation like this can she take a lawyer to court. it’s even hard for her to get insurance she went from having really good insurance through the railroad to trying to fight with Obamacare in order to receive insurance and come to find out she couldn’t afford it she’s had a nervous breakdown due to this and I’m trying my best to find out if there’s anything we can do to make sure that she gets what she supposed to get. Can the case be reopened? Where would we start.

      1. April Thornton

        So the original lawyer isn’t returning my mother calls. Should she get a new lawyer and if it was processed in Atlanta ga does she have to get a new lawyer in Atlanta or can she get one where she lives now in Chattanooga tn. Thanks for your help we are lost. She paid the lawyer 3,000 retainer fee plus. And she’s now needing government assistance.

  27. Been divorced from my ex husband since 2002. In the divorce agreement it states that I will receive my Majauskas share of pension plans commenceing date of divorce action. It also states I will be responsible for the QDROs. He is still not retired and I haven’t done the QDROs, is it too late?

  28. Hello….My ex-husband and I have been divorced for 15 years. He was self employed and had no retirement. I worked for the state of CA so I had PERS retirement. He was awarded half my retirement for the 20 years we were married and of course we were told to do the QDRO. Because I had nothing to gain I didn’t feel it behooved me to make the first move. He waited until this last year to finally do it and received it. Today at work I was whining about my taxes and my co-worker asked me if I could claim what I lost in my retirement on my taxes since I helped pay into it. Which got me to thinking…can I???

    1. You are taxed on the income you receive from your pension. Since your former spouse got a portion of it, you will receive less and therefore be taxed on less. In effect, that is your “tax deduction”.

  29. Hi ,
    I have been divorced from apr 2012.was married for 14 years. I didnt have the money to pay for the QDRO .He will be retiring in 10 years. what do I need to do to get the pension form him ,since my work dont have a pension plan . or is it too late …if not where do i go to file
    please help

    Estele in california

      1. Thank you so much.
        Even after 4 years of divorce, i could claim pension…did i get it right…i keep missing that point.

  30. Hello, I have been divorced since 2008, I was awarded half his pension when he retires, will someone call or write and let me know when this happens?

  31. I have been divorced for five years from my ex after a 22 year marriage. I was stupid and didn’t get a lawyer and tried to just use a paralegal and myself. He ended up getting almost everything in the divorce. I wish I had a do-over but since I can’t, it is what it is. Anyway, I had heard that I am still entitled to get part of his retirement. While he were married he worked for the city for 12 years. Now it’s longer but I would only be entitled to 12 of it. I read my divorce decree and I can’t find anywhere, where it says this. Does it have to be written down somewhere to be able to receive it?

  32. My wife and I are getting a divorce. As part of our agreed settlement, she gets a portion of my 401k. We’ve agreed to have the QDRO take more than her actual share to allow us some cash to pay off some bills and give us a start. We aren’t sure how we get the cash. Does the QDRO specify that part of it is to be awarded in cash or is that something she does after the money is segregated to her name?

    1. In the QDRO she will specify the amount that she wants to be paid to her in cash. They will deduct 20% for federal withholding and possible some state withholding also, and remit that amount to her. The rest will go into her IRA. When she files her taxes, she’ll report the amount of the distribution and the withholding taxes, and pay any additional income taxes that are due. If she decides she wants more cash and makes withdrawals from her IRA, those funds will be taxed and there will be a 10% federal penalty for early withdrawal if she is under age 59-1/2, and possibly state penalties as well.

  33. I was a house wife for 17 years got a divorce then ended up disabled I receive SSI Disability. Now I’m 57 years old my ex is 61 years if I take half of his pension will I lose my SSI in calif

  34. Hello, I have a question…Im going through a divorce and I have been married 10 years. He destroyed all my belonging and I basically have to start over. clothes, shoes, etc…I was told I can get half of every thing he’s has with isn’t much…I want 401k, Pension, and IRA and alimony. We live in Missouri. What can I actually get RIGHT now so I can live off of it till im done with school. I’m only work part time and he has been on his job 18 years and makes 80,000+ yearly…Were I only make 15,000 to 20,000 yearly…Can I get 50% of the 401k now and if so whats the penalty for taking it now. And I want alimony to…Please help

    1. Talk to your attorney to see what the rules are in your state. For you to get your share of the 401(k), there will need to be a divorce decree or written stipulation, and then a Qualified Domestic Relations Order prepared. You can ask in the QDRO that your funds come to you, and you’ll owe taxes but no penalty.

  35. If I use my share of the retirement fund to pay off my student loans will I still have to pay taxes on it?

  36. In my case my husband is trading a paid off home for maintenance.
    Thinking he was giving me a very good deal he was furious i asked for 50% of the Tier 2
    portion of retirement and then rec ended the offer.
    i make 15% of his salary and a paid off home is music to my ears..
    but as a woman a par-time employee in the fitness industry i don’t see my income growing in my old age as I am now 52 and well on my way to retirement. to which there is NONE due to the fact he was suspended from his job for drinking for almost a year and the 401 k paid the remaining balance on the home.
    He seeing the home as his retirement too. and asking for more has infuriated him.

  37. How can I transfer my portion of my ex husband’s pension back to him? We are too young to draw it out. The portion that is mine has been set aside and still growing and I’d like to give it back to him. I have no idea how to go about this. Washington State.

    1. Talk to a financial planner about whether you’ll have enough when you retire if you do this. Then talk to an attorney. I don’t think there is a way to do this without it being a taxable gift, but you can explore that.

  38. I have a question about pensions. My husband and I are going through a divorce. We were married for over 20 years and he worked for the Department of the Interior. I gave up my career to follow him around the country and raise our family. Am I entitled to part of his pension? If so, how do I go about filing for it? My divorce lawyer is not familiar with it and said that it’s my responsiblity.
    Thank you

    1. Are you saying that your attorney doesn’t know about how pensions are divided in your state? That can’t be the case. Ask him/her again. If not, contact the Dept of the Interior to get information about how their plans are divided in divorce.

  39. Bridget Capawanna

    Somebody help me? i have a QUARDO been divorced since 1995 Ex husband disappeared
    i found out he retired from US Post Office about 3 years and he would do anything to not pay
    a penny to myself and our daughter. I spent a lot of money on an attorney 3 years ago and he was no help
    he took my money and said he cant find him
    I am entittled to this money but its a nighmare to get answers i live in New Jersey

    1. If you were awarded part of his retirement plan and you had a QDRO prepared and served on the plan administrator, and it was accepted by the plan administrator, then you will get payouts directly from the plan administrator in accordance with that QDRO.

  40. I’m contemplating on getting a divorce soon. My husband job went out of business and he had worked there at least 35 yrs. I know that he had a 401k plan but now when calling the company that handles it says there is a balance of $0. I’m thinking he has his money rolled over into his pension plan but how do I go about getting this information? Will I be entitled to receive some of it and what steps should I take to find out. He’s retired and I’m 54 yrs old with 16 yrs daughter. I don’t want anything from the divorce but what me and my daughter compensated for. Already receiving ssi for her. Need advice on what I should do asap

  41. My friend was married to a military spouse for 13 years. She did not as for half his retirement. Can she amend her decree to ask for half his retirement. She has been divorced over 10 years
    She has received alimony and child support but now the child is over 18 years old.

    1. If the military retirement wasn’t mentioned in the divorce agreement, it may be an overlooked asset that can be considered now. If she gave up her right to it in the divorce agreement, then that’s probably a done deal.

  42. I have been divorced for twenty years and was married twenty years i am in disability and i am 60 years old i was just,reading my divorce papers and notice that it says that i should get half of his 401K its been twenty years can i still get it. I also saw that he was suppose to pay child support and i never got anything can i still get that.

      1. I just started receiving my ex pension has he retired. Are their tax ramifications to receiving these funds when I’m not retired myself yet. I pay federal taxes, but in pa not required to pay state or local taxes on retirement funds. All viewers get a QDRO when u divorce. Solves a lot of issues .

  43. I have been divorced since 2012 and 401(k) was to be divided in half. It was but I had no idea I had to do something with it. I thought the companies would just roll it over. My problem is this, my ex left me with a ton of debt that he was supposed to pay. He dropped off the face of the earth and owes me over 40k plus. I want to declare bankruptcy to clear the debt so I quit getting harassed. I understand that my 401k is considered exempt from this mess but…is it still exempt if it’s just sitting there and not actually in something making money?

    I have been living with my parents for over 3 years and I was going to use some of it to move away and start over…the problem is that I’m afraid if I put it in something right now I won’t be able to touch it for a long time. I can’t stay where I am much longer so I must have access to some of that money.

    1. Money doesn’t “just sit there”, it is invested in something. If you filed a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to divide the 401(k), then it is either in the 401(k) plan but earmarked for you, or it is in an IRA in your name. If you didn’t file a QDRO, then you’ll need to do so to secure your portion in your name. As for the bankruptcy, we can’t give legal advice, you’ll need to talk to your bankruptcy attorney about how 401(k) and IRA assets are treated in your state.

  44. I got divorced a couple of years ago, can I still do the quadrophonic if half of her pension was awarded to me? Is there a statue of limitation for filing, is what I want to say.

  45. Yes I was married 30 years, and now we worked out a plan without me having to serve him. now he says he will quit his job if I have him served. Now he is giving in my checking 1400.00 amonth, he is supost to be paying 2,000 amonth. So should I have him served now before he retires. And how will his work know where to send money? And once he retires then what, do I have to go to ss office, I really not up for that. How does it work after he retires. J.

    1. You need to talk to an attorney right away. If he won’t pay you voluntarily, the only way to enforce your support agreement is to take legal action. But first find out how much you’d get if you took legal action, since it may not be as much as the plan you worked out. If he is of retirement age, then he certainly could retire, but he might still owe you support, since he’d have to have some sort of income to live. Once you are both of retirement age, you can apply for social security benefits online.

    2. wow…please dont fall for that….he will in all liklihood not honor that agreement……

      he is also likely trying to protect other assets/retirement fund, etc.

      without a divorce…you have no leverage to get your share of these assets

      a good divorce attorney will advise you to file so you have legal protections you are entitled to

      theres also a chance hes moving money around or spending it on other assets and hiding them

      dont walk around blind…..get an attorney and get moving

  46. After 26 yrs my husband & I got divorced in Delaware. He was retired from the US Post Office. I knew I was entitled to part of his pension then but didn’t take it. He died last December. I am re-married. Am I still entitled to any of his pension?

    1. If you were awarded part of his retirement in your divorce decree, then it is yours. If you gave it up in your divorce decree, then it is not yours. If it wasn’t mentioned in your divorce decree, it is an overlooked asset that will need to be divided now.

  47. I have a finalized divorce from 1995. My ex was to receive half of my retirement accounts and pensions. I have 2 different pensions. A Quadro was filed at the tine of the divorce but one pension was left out. The divorce states nothing about how to handle remarriage. The pension says it is my choice whether this continues after remarriage. I am handling this filing myself and am wondering who needs to sign off on this?

  48. Hi my ex and I agreed that we wouldn’t ask for assets from either’s 401k plans and they weren’t mentioned in the divorce agreement. We have been divorced for three years and now he’s hired a lawyer to go after mine and is stating that he never knew about the 401k I have. I have no proof that he knew or that we had a verbal agreement. Can he do this?

  49. Hello, just wondering if someone could answer a few questions. My ex and I were divorced and there is a Q D R O in place. I have made several attempts to find out how much was in his pension when we divorced, and has it been collecting interest all this time. Recently I got ahold of the administer of the plan but they told me they cannot tell me anything until my ex is 3 months to the age of 55 (i’m turning 60 this year).
    1. Why can’t they tell me how much was in the account 5 years ago.( I live in Minnesota) so could or can i put this into an account that would of gave me interest? Or why haven’t they offered this info to me?
    2. Should they have put this into an interest bearing account?
    3. Why do I have to wait until he is 3 months out to find out how much is in the account currently?

    Thank you in advance for your help in this matter!


    1. Most pension plans do not allow you to withdraw the funds or receive lifetime monthly payments until the employee is of retirement age. Rather than withdrawing the funds when he reaches retirement age, consider opting for the lifetime payments. That will provide you lifetime security and a far better return on your money than you would get in an interest bearing account.

  50. my husband makes about 53000. a year – he has no credit cards, no car payments (we have always drove older cars that were paid for with cash) he says he can’t pay me alimony (I make 15000. and have a lot of health problems to which I see pain management monthly) believe me – if I could go back to work full time and do this myself, I would. NOT that this is smart, its just my personality.
    But now at 54 he has decided he wants a divorce – I’m a little bitter …
    We have been married 20 years – together 26 years.

    He says he can’t pay me spousal support as he doesn’t have it…
    he does have $50,000. in retirement which I know I’ll receive 1/2 – is it possible
    for me to ask for more from retirement to help me live financially?

    He has the option of working for another 10 plus years – he is in great shape …
    great health …

  51. My QDRO was completed and ex’s company transferred half of his 401k to me. We were only married 5 years and he is quite upset. I have not touched the funds yet. What can he do to get his money and do I have to agree?

      1. What is a roll of review? I know it has something to do with child support, spousal support or custody. But would it apply to a QDRO?

        1. Ginita Wall, CPA, CFP

          I tried Googling that term, but nothing came up. In what document does it appear, and how is it used in a sentence? All I can think of is “rollover IRA” or “rollover of funds”, but that’s not “roll of review.”

    1. This is what I found on the internet:

      In the practice of Equity courts, a paper filed with a court after expiration of the time for filing a petition for a rehearing in order to request, due to exceptional circumstances, the correction or reversal of a final judgment or decree.
      The use of a bill of review is limited to three situations: (1) the correction of a judgment that has incorporated errors found in the record of the case; (2) the reversal of a judgment because of recent discovery of evidence that is decisive on the issues of the case but that could not have been found in time for the trial; and (3) the setting aside of a judgment based upon proceedings that were tainted by Fraud, such as perjured testimony.

  52. My ex wants to help me and our children by taking a loan from his 401K to give me what was awarded in our divorce. We both just recently found out there is a QDRO in place we were never aware of and discovered at the county district clerk. He has been to see an attorney to see if he could do this and said that it could be done but has to change all the legal documents that he said he’d pay for. He also said that it would be tax free to do it this way. My question… are the retirement funds that were awarded to me, that are still sitting in his 401K, has it still been investing? Could it be more or less? Would they have put it in a separate account? Also, if I were to agree to this is it tax free to me taken out as a loan by him? I’ve tried contacting several lawyers who said it sounds fishy and don’t want to touch it. He said that he had a hard time finding a lawyer also who is not in our district.. If I refuse to go this route he wants to go, then when he retires I will receive lifetime taxable payments of a set amount when he retires. Can I contact his plan or will they only speak with him? Personally, I believe it’s a bad idea for him to take a loan out, but he is insistent on doing this. With my job I just make under yearly amount for our 2 children to qualify for student federal and state aid. After child support ends I may have to seek a 2nd job, which I don’t mind, but then won’t qualify for student aid, and cannot afford tuition and books. We are trying to avoid student loans.

    1. Any money you receive now from the retirement plan will not be there when you retire. So it isn’t a good thing to get it now if you will need it in retirement. Apparently your portion of the plan has already been segregated for you within the plan. It has been invested, I assume, and will be available to you at retirement as a lump sum or you can take payments monthly. I think the plan administrator should be able to talk to you about your share of the plan since it is in your name.

  53. I am very confused about claiming social security of ex spouse. I qualified under all the other conditions. I plan to claim when i turn 62 (he will be 68) but from what my friend is telling me, i would be making too much to get a dime. Is there an income limit on being able to claim.

    1. If you are below full retirement age, they will deduct $1 from your benefits for each $2 you earn above $15,720. So most working folks won’t receive much of anything, and should wait to collect until they reach full retirement age or quit working, whichever comes sooner.

  54. The QDRO was approved after several attempts…now my ex has refused to file for the pension from the corporation he worked for before we were divorced and he moved to another basically the pension is lost to me because he refused to request it just so I will get none of it…is there anything I can do besides wait him out?

  55. HI!
    I’m divorcing soon and need to know is it best to transfer my portion of my husbands 401k with fidelity into my own fidelity acct. or should i invest my part into something that will get me a better return on these funds?
    This is the only retirement money I have. I have been a SAHM for the duration of our marriage.
    Thank you!

    1. Fidelity has a wide range of mutual funds from which to choose, so there is no need to switch out of Fidelty “to get a better return.” But you might want to explore getting professional management for your funds, if you don’t have the expertise to do it yourself. If you want to do it yourself, consider investing in a target retirement fund that reduces the portfolio risk as you near retirement age.

  56. Hi, I’m getting a divorce and me and my husband have decided to cash out his retirement fund and 401k without involving our lawyers, or using QUDRO, we plan on drawing up an agreement to split 50/50, is this wise. And what’s the process.

    1. If you don’t draw up a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, when he withdraws 50% of the 401(k) plan and retirement fund and gives it to you, he will owe taxes on the entire amount plus penalties for early withdrawal. If you put it into your IRA for your retirement, you’ll owe a penalty of 6% every year for over-contribution to your IRA, which could be avoided if you had used a QDRO. If you draw up the divorce agreement yourself, be sure that you include all the boilerplate clauses that are required in your state and have it in correct legal form, or it will not be accepted for filing.

  57. Hi
    I live in Ca.
    I am divorced and filed a QDRO, leaving the money separated but administered by my X’s company. Recently I received notice that I have to move the money. It stated in my QDRO that after the funds were separated, at the earliest time thereafter, the money would be moved.
    Do I have to do this? My thought was to just leave it in his account until later (I have the QDRO filed) but they separated it, and I get my own statement. I’m not sure what is best.
    Second question:
    My fiancé is divorced, but neither he or his X have filed for the QDRO to separate his retirement. Any reason just to leave it be? Should I insist he file the QDRO before we marry? I wouldn’t want to fight her at a later date in court.
    Thank you!!

    1. If the company says you have to move the money, then I’m guessing you have to move the money to an IRA in your name, to avoid current taxation. You can certainly ask them for an explanation. There’s really no reason to leave it with his employer, since it is likely that the administrative fees charged to the account are far greater than any fees you would incur with an IRA from a mutual fund company such as Vanguard, Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, etc.

      If you marry and your husband’s former spouse has a claim on his retirement, upon his retirement or death you will certainly be locked in battle with her, because I’m sure she’d assert her rights at that time. So it is best to get the paperwork handled to clean up the rest of his divorce.

  58. I was married in 1992 and divorced 2003, my x husband died November 2014 , called his former employer about his pension and found out that there’s QUADRO in placed and I’m starting to received check next month . My questions are 1) should I get back pay since he died last November 2) how to go about putting that money somewhere else so don’t get taxed on , I’m 47 and has full time job. Thanks you for any advice you can give me

    1. You’ll need to ask the plan administrator if there’s an option for you to roll the entire amount to an IRA in your name, rather than receiving monthly payments, or if you at least can delay receiving payments until you reach retirement age.

  59. Hi there. I am having my final msa drawn up now to include the qdro of 30% of his retirement. It is a settlement I took to receive more monthly from him. He works for the state of CA and was told that i would have to have this portion transferred into an IRA under my name.
    Once the MSA is done and signed. How long will it take till I can access the IRA in my name? Do I have to wait until my divorce is final? If so, how long after signing my final papers will my divorce be final?

    I am needing this to purchase a car from ASAP and understand I will be paying penalties and taxes, but i have no other option.

    thanks in advance!

    1. If you need to draw out money, be sure that the QDRO provides that some of the funds will come directly to you rather than going into your IRA. That way you will avoid penalties for early withdrawal.

        1. Ginita Wall, CPA, CFP

          How long it takes depends on the speed with which the plan administrator approves the document, but generally less than three months.

  60. Johnnie browder

    can i modify my divorce after he divorice in1998 he was still in the army at time he divorce.DFAs told me to modify to receive half of his retirement. We were marriage 16 years of army service.i did not sign any papers file for the divorce. hecarriage me as his wife. untile he got marriage in 2010 i never sign not to receive his army insurance. i told i need to sign it i do not want it. can i use a CPA to modify the paper work

  61. Hi, my divorce is final and my check for half of the payment for the QDRO was cashed in June so I was wondering when I should expect my half from my exes retirement. And also does the check get sent to me in the mail? I am currently unemployed. Thanks

    1. Ask the person drawing up the QDRO what they expect the timetable to be. Usually your funds are rolled into an IRA, but you can request that they be paid to you directly. They will be taxable if you receive them, so expect 20% to be deducted for federal withholding taxes and possibly additional for state withholding taxes. And any additional taxes will be due with your tax return next April.

  62. In 2007 my ex and I were divorced after 23 years of marriage. In April of 2015 we finally settle the property which has to do with is retirement from the military. On July 1st. When the military started sending my part of the retirement to me. I found out that they took the portion of child support that he pays to me out of my portion of the retirement. So I am basically paying for my own child support. I thought that I would get my part of retirement plus what he owes me for child support. Please help me to understand this. Thank-you.

  63. I was divorced in 2010. I filed on my own and paid a paralegal to do my paperwork.
    I didn’t realize till after the divorce was final, that my ex husbands pension was not put in
    my divorce settlement. I was married for 20 years and we have 2 children together. I did receive child support and alimony since he was the main provider.

    I found out he is planning on opening his own business with some of his retirement money. What should I do, because I don’t want to lose out on anything that I have earned through our marriage. He is also remarried but no children with his new wife of 2 years.

    Thank u sincerely,

  64. I have been divorced since 1997, was married for 13 years. My ex told me that the pension that he paid into while we were married went bankrupt or was embezzled or something. I can’t afford an attorney, how can I find out if this is true?

    1. Most pensions are protected under the Pension Benefit Guaranty Board. Ask your husband to provide documentation regarding that pension, or to give permission for you to talk to the pension administrator for the company.

  65. I was divorced in CA OK n 1986. I was on LTD and was in abuse mairage of 13 years. Couldn’t afford a lawyer so there is nothing in the decree stating anything about his pension. He was a federal employee for most of that time so there is no ss benifit. Am I able to refile for pension since he is now retired.

  66. I was divorced in 2006. Our divorce decree states I am entitled to 1/2 his retirement, at the time valued at $26,000. My cruddy divorce attorney told me that in order for her to complete and file a QDRO on my behalf, it would cost me an additional $1,000, on top of the $5k I had already payed her. I didn’t have the money, so a QDRO was never done. My ex has changed jobs several tmes since, so i have no idea what retirement plan he has now or who administates it. My 18yr old daughter told me today that her dad told her recently (he was complaining to her about the cost of her 1st year college tuition) that he had no money put away for when he retires (he’s only 48). If this is true and he took all the money out of his retirement account, is he still liable to me for the amount the divorce decree states?

  67. I’m hoping you can answer a question for me. I was awarded 50% of my husbands retirement through a QDRO. When we divorced the administrator informed both me and him that in order for him to be eligible for this retirement plan he would need to keep his Union dues paid up to date. My question is: if I was awarded half and he does not keep up his union dues and loses his rights to the retirement plan. (He’s spiteful and irresponsible) Am I still entitled to be compensated. My divorce paperwork states that that the court has the right to enforce the judgement.

    1. This is a legal question, and you will need to consult with an attorney about your rights if by his actions (or failures) he loses the retirement. It may be that your portion is in some way protected since you secured it with the QDRO.

  68. I was the bread winner during my 23 years of being married to a drunk, cheating and abusing husband. Unfortunately the one who made the money is the one who is screwed. My divorce papers state that my ex gets half of my retirement. If they did not put a QDRO on the money does my ex still get half?

  69. My step-father just passed away in June 2015. He divorced his first wife in 1981 and he married my mother in 1984. At the time of the first wife’s divorce, the decree listed no assets. He retired in 1992 and began collecting his pension. My mother is trying to collect on his pension but they are giving her a hard time. Is there any way that his ex-wife can try to collect that pension benefit instead of my mother? Also, his life insurance listed my mother as a beneficiary but they are also giving her a hard time. Is his life insurance considered an “asset” of his estate (he had no real assets when he passed, he didn’t own the home or bonds/stocks only his car) or is it separate from the estate?

    1. When he began collecting his pension, he was required to name his spouse as his beneficiary unless your mother waived that right in order for him to collect higher benefits during his lifetime. If she did that, then the pension died with him. If she was named as his beneficiary, then she should receive benefits. It may be that at the time of his divorce a portion of his benefits were awarded to his former spouse. If so, she is eligible for that portion of the benefits. The plan administrator should have clear records showing what happened and who (if anyone) should get survivor benefits.

      As for the life insurance, if it was paid current at the time of his death and it named your mother as a beneficiary, then she should collect the benefits. If he was the owner of the policy, then it was an asset of his estate that passes to whoever was named as beneficiary.

    2. When he began collecting his pension, he was required to name his spouse as his beneficiary unless your mother waived that right in order for him to collect higher benefits during his lifetime. If she did that, then the pension died with him. If she was named as his beneficiary, then she should receive benefits. It may be that at the time of his divorce a portion of his benefits were awarded to his former spouse. If so, she is eligible for that portion of the benefits. The plan administrator should have clear records showing what happened and who (if anyone) should get survivor benefits.

      As for the life insurance, if it was paid current at the time of his death and it named your mother as a beneficiary, then she should collect the benefits. If he was the owner of the policy, then it was an asset of his estate that passes to whoever was named as beneficiary of the policy.

  70. My ex husband and I both are 63. He cleaned out his 401(k) plan and I was wondering if there is anyway possible for me to receive a portion of that money. If so, now that he is retired, how would I go about doing that and because we live and have always lived in the state of Virginia would I be entitled to any of that.

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