Madeline Louise Hill’s Answers

Madeline Louise Hill

San Diego Divorce / Separation Lawyer.

Contributor Level 8
  1. Divorced ~18 years ago in Solano County Cali. Ex now suing for half my retirement pension . What are applicable Cali laws?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Madeline Louise Hill
    2. Kelvin P. Green
    3. David Raymond Mahood
    4. Peggy M. Raddatz
    4 lawyer answers

    I agree with the other answers as well; your former spouse may have been awarded a one-half community property interest in your federal retirement benefits. You should review your judgment carefully with an attorney as soon as possible. As unfair as it may seem, the award of retirement benefits is treated as an asset division and is not related to either party's current income. Instead, it is typical to divide whatever benefits were earned during the marriage. If your former spouse was...

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  2. With regard to a retirement if the opposing attorney sent the joinder petition to the wrong address, is it joined to the action?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Daniel Seth Williams
    2. Madeline Louise Hill
    3. Atousa Saei
    3 lawyer answers

    Service is a critical part of the joinder process. If the retirement plan administrator never received the joinder documents, then they are not joined. I agree with the previous answers that this error should be fixed as soon as possible. The court likely has jurisdiction over your retirement plans already due to other documents filed during your divorce, the court just does not have jurisdiction over the plan yet. It is also always best to file QDROs or DROs concurrently with the...

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  3. My wife wants a divorce after 23 years, can she take half my pay and military retirement as soon as she walks out the door?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Madeline Louise Hill
    2. Michael Raymond Daymude
    2 lawyer answers

    I agree with the previous answer - things will not happen "immediately" but she will be able to apply for spousal support while you are going through the divorce process - even before the division of assets and any support order is finalized. Your retirement benefits will need to be divided by a special court order, called a Domestic Relations Order ("DRO") before she will be able to receive payments directly from DFAS. My San Diego firm, QDRO Helper, specializes in the division of...

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  4. If you do not want your spouse to get your pension what is the best approach to divorce? An aggressive lawyer or collaborative ?

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Michael Charles Schwerin
    2. Madeline Louise Hill
    3. Patricia Frances Barberis
    4. Sanjay Augustine Paul
    5. Gregory Paul Benton
    5 lawyer answers

    You have received excellent information from Attorney Schwerin. Pursuant to Family Code Section 2610 (link below), your former spouse is entitled to one-half of the benefits earned during the marriage. Without other assets to equalize against the pension benefits, I cannot imagine that a court would award you the entire pension. Instead, the default in California since the 70s to divide pension benefits has been the Time Rule Formula (link explaining the formula below). Unfortunately, whether...

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  5. I will loose my right which is an half of his retirement, if he gets remarry before QDRO is finalized?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Madeline Louise Hill
    2. Dean George Tsourakis
    3. Peggy M. Raddatz
    3 lawyer answers

    Your former husband's remarriage will not affect your rights to your community property interest in his 401(k) plans. However, you should still have the appropriate QDROs drafted and filed at court as soon as possible; for example, without a QDRO your benefits may be affected if he passes away unexpectedly. I have put a link below regarding QDRO timing issues that you might find helpful.

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  6. I took money from a retirement account I won in a divorce.. called it a quadro...taxes already taken out why claim on my tax rtn

    Answered 7 months ago.

    1. E. Martin Davidoff
    2. Vincent D. Ward Jr.
    3. Charles John Zimmerer
    4. Madeline Louise Hill
    4 lawyer answers

    It is standard for retirement plans to withhold 20% on any lump sum distributions, which is likely what happened in your case. As the other answers have explained, this is just withholding; you may receive a refund when you file your taxes - or you may owe additional taxes on the distribution - depending on your tax bracket for the year. Since you are unemployed, you will likely be charged a lower tax rate than 20% when you file your taxes and will then receive a refund of part of the...

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  7. What can I do if the family law judge rejects my Qdro because my ex did not sign it?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Madeline Louise Hill
    2. Stephen Ross Cohen
    3. Gregory Paul Benton
    3 lawyer answers

    If you cannot obtain your former spouse's signature, you can request that the court sign the QDRO on your husband's behalf, also known as the court "appointing an elisor" who will sign the QDRO. This is most often done by filing a "Request for Order" (Form FL-300) with the court. You will likely need the help of an attorney or the family law facilitator's office to get the Request for Order completed and to get the court to sign on your former spouse's behalf. Before the judge will appoint...

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  8. My mom and dad have been seperated for 30 years. My father is ex military.Is my mother entitled to a retirement check s

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Madeline Louise Hill
    2. Hillary Johns
    2 lawyer answers

    It is unclear if your parents were legally separated or just stopped living together 30 years ago but never took legal action. If they were legally separated, she should look at the court documents to see if the military retirement was addressed. Whether your mom is entitled to retirement would depend on a lot of factors. The military has its own requirements for being able to send checks directly to the former spouse of a service member, which you can read about at the link below. If she...

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  9. My ex-spouse wants to cancel our court ordered QDRO & work out other financial arrangements if that can be done whats the proces

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Madeline Louise Hill
    2. Daniel Seth Williams
    3. Isileli Tupou Manaia Mataele
    3 lawyer answers

    I agree with the other answers - you will need to have your judgment amended. If a QDRO has already been filed, then you will need to have an amended QDRO prepared and filed where your former spouse waives his interest in your benefits. Further, the present value of a defined benefit plan (traditional pension) can be difficult to calculate if you are not yet retired. You will need to have a valuation performed, and you will need sufficient liquid assets in order to pay your former spouse...

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  10. Divorce Judgment/Pension Division

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Richard Forrest Gould-Saltman
    2. Isileli Tupou Manaia Mataele
    3. Erin Ann Levine
    4. LaDonna Jean Childress
    5. Donald Patrick Bebereia
    6. ···
    6 lawyer answers

    I own a practice specializing in QDROs for clients & attorneys throughout California and could assist you with this process. There are certain requirements (such as "the Ten Year Rule") that must be met for DFAS to pay you a portion of military benefits. A brief overview of the requirements and the division of military pay can be found on my website through the link below. I hope that answers some of your questions.

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