Surely, it has to be frustrating. You’ve finally finished the negotiations for your divorce settlement. Your divorce — and marriage — is finally over. You are ready to move forward. Things are fine for the first couple of months. You receive your alimony and child support payments right on time. Then nothing.
This is the sad truth that many divorcees face. In the majority of cases involving late child support or alimony, the ex-husband is the one behind on the payments. The Census Bureau reports that ex-husbands who don’t honor a divorce’s financial settlement are the majority — not the minority. It can be very difficult for women to get an ex to pay what is owed.
However, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order or QDRO may be just what is needed to ensure payments are made as agreed. A QDRO is an order from the court that secures benefits owed to you with the benefits from retirement plans. It can be use retirement benefits like a 401K or a pension plan; however, it does not include IRAs. It allows an ex-spouse to receive the money she — or he — is due from the other ex-spouses retirement plan. The courts have more options for enforcing such payments with a QDRO in place.
It’s important to have an experienced North Dakota attorney review a QDRO. How it is set up will determine if you can receive the money now or must wait until later. It will also determine whether payments are made over time or in one lump sum.
You can use a QDRO for a variety of payments due from your ex. These include alimony, child support, temporary support and even your legal fees in some cases. However, it is best to make sure the QDRO is part of your divorce decree to ensure that you’re getting an equitable distribution of marital and retirement assets.
Source: Forbes, “How To Get Your Ex-Husband To Honor The Financial Terms Of Your Divorce Settlement” Jeff Landers, Feb. 19, 2014