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My Ex won’t finalize QDRO


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In the divorce that was finalized on April 20, 2021, I was awarded 60% of his 401(k) plus additional money. I have filed with my QDRO attorney and all is ready. All he has to give the attorney if the amount of the 401(k) the day we got married and the amount the day our divorce was final. He refuses! My attorney that I had for divorce is a JOKE … she is doing NOTHING. Except sending emails to OC and then charging me $250, but with no results. I have asked to file contempt of court but she won’t. I don’t know what to do!!! This was a domestic violence situation and I just want to get on with my life. I would file it myself but I can not find a form to fill out to file. PLEASE HELP!

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I am an accountant who receives QDROs all the time to process not a lawyer.   You will want to wait until the lawyers who know the legal parts of a QDRO to give answers before you come up with a plan of action. 

The one thing I will point out is you don't need an actual dollar amount written into a QDRO.  Now if it has gone before a judge and approved some dollar amount that is different.   But if you are trying to get a judge to sign off on a QDRO and you need to express how much you are to get it can be simply written as you are entitled to 60% (or some other percentage) as of such and such date plus earnings from that date.   The 401(k) plan can determine how much money leave his account and goes into your account.    We get QDROs to approve and process all the time using percentages like that.  

Also, a QDRO isn't a form it is a legal process that requires the plan and a judge to get fully through.   Like I said the lawyers that come by this board can help you more on those kinds of details.  

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Your lawyer should either know what ESOP Guy stated or should associate with a lawyer who does for purposes of the QDRO.  Sometimes the plan cannot determine values as of certain dates, especially distant ones, e.g. because of a record keeper change.  You will have to deal with the plan for alternatives, but that probably will not happen. 

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I suggest that you call the Clerk of the Judge who signed the Domestic Relations Order and explain the situation including that it is an Abusive  Spouse situation and ask the Clerk to  set up a Hearing on the Matter.  Now you may be required to dismiss your Attorney and file a Motion for a Hearing  by yourself but that is what you need in this situation.  The Hearing will force your  husband and/or his attorney to appear and the Court most likely will issue an Order for your Husband to provide you what you need or give him 30 days to provide it. This is  not really a QDRO matter but a domestic abuse matter which I have to believe will cause the court to  act. 

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I agree with ESOP Guy.  Have your attorney file the QDRO with the amount as listed in the divorce decree (60% of his account balance, plus earnings from a specific date and the additional funds).  The 401(k) Plan administrator can determine the amount.  Your attorney does not need the dollar value to file the QDRO.  You also could file the QDRO pro se (without a lawyer).  

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On 8/5/2021 at 5:11 PM, Kodi said:

In the divorce that was finalized on April 20, 2021, I was awarded 60% of his 401(k) plus additional money. I have filed with my QDRO attorney and all is ready. All he has to give the attorney if the amount of the 401(k) the day we got married and the amount the day our divorce was final. He refuses! My attorney that I had for divorce is a JOKE … she is doing NOTHING. Except sending emails to OC and then charging me $250, but with no results. I have asked to file contempt of court but she won’t. I don’t know what to do!!! This was a domestic violence situation and I just want to get on with my life. I would file it myself but I can not find a form to fill out to file. PLEASE HELP!

Sorry for your situation.  A couple of things, though.  First, the parties don't need to "agree" on a QDRO.  It is an order of the Court - and if the divorce was granted with a settlement of retirement plan rights, the judge can issue that order (a QDRO) without the parties doing anything to agree to it (you've already agreed to the amount and terms - the QDRO is a mechanism under federal law to actually get at retirement plan assets).  It may be customary for the parties to agree (and at times easier to get a judge to sign it if they do), but it is not required.  Second, your ex does NOT need to provide the data indicated in your original post.  The plan probably has that info (it really should as a matter of federal law) - and as part of the plan's review of the QDRO, they will determine the amount - if it is based on a formula (like, 50% of the amount of increase between dates of marriage and divorce).  If you provide the dates, the plan (through either the recordkeeper, or the Plan Administrator) should be able to figure it out.  If they can't (change in employer through a merger or acquisition, or change in recordkeeper), then you can approximate the amount, and have the order changed to a specified dollar amount (rather than a formula).  Finally, if your ex is truly necessary and still recalcitrant, the judge can 1) order them to not do anything with the plan assets until the issue is resolved; 2) hold them in contempt; and/or 3) penalize them, but simply awarding you the whole thing (rare, but I've seen it happen).

In any event, someone needs to get to the judge to "enforce that which was already ordered/agreed to."  If not your attorney, then write a letter to the judge asking that the matter be reopened and reheard (and file a complaint with the local or state bar association responsible for attorney discipline).  Domestic relations judges are used to that....

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