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Douglas Paul Becker

Douglas Becker’s Answers

19 total


  • Does a QDRO satisfy this 401(k) stipulation in my decree of dissolution?

    I was working on getting a QDRO finished for the clause below when my ex announced that this is not satisfactory and that I must pay her in cash. $4,603.50 from husband’s T-Mobile 401(k). Husband shall make this payment in full within one year...

    Douglas’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The decree says her cash comes from your 401(k). Only a QDRO can do that. Your ex will need to pay taxes on the $4,603.50, but she volunteered for that when she said the money had to come from your 401(k). Depending on her tax bracket, there may be very little tax to pay. The upside for your ex is that she doesn't have to pay any penalty.

    The biggest problem I see for the two of you is your fight is going to cost more in attorney fees than it's worth. Ask your 401(k) manager for a sample QDRO form they will accept. Then hope your ex recognizes it is not worth fighting over this. Be sure you communicate with her in email so that you can show a court you were trying to the right thing.

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  • Taking ex to court pro se (contempt) family court. Prior to divorce is predivorce conduct admissable?

    In Corson vs Corson it states "8] Finally, appellant contends that it was error for the trial court to admit evidence of appellant's predivorce conduct. With this we agree. In a proceeding to modify the support money provision of a divorce decree,...

    Douglas’s Answer

    You can probably get evidence of pre-divorce conduct admitted in your case for two reasons: Corson v Corson applies to money issues, not parenting, and in your case the parenting plan was agreed to, not the result of a trial in which the judge could rule on the issues. However, getting a parenting plan changed under any circumstance is difficult; even an attorney will have a tough time with this. And if you go to court pro se seeking contempt and fail, the hole you're in will be much deeper. Be careful, assume this is going to take a lot of time and get an attorney.

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  • My sister's husband was ordered to pay her $10K in the divorce settlement & the lawyer's fees. He won't do either..

    And to top it off, the lawyer is now charging my sister for the amount her ex won't pay. Plus he is in the Marines, but his command won't enforce the settlement. What should she do?

    Douglas’s Answer

    Your sister hired her attorney, so her attorney is entitled to get paid by her. She is responsible for collecting from her ex.

    At this point, your sister has a collection problem, not a family law problem. it appears her attorney's usefulness is done if he or she can't collect from a service member. Most family law attorneys don't have experience with military divorces or collections, so it's time for your sister to switch to one who does.

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  • I am a married person wanting to purchase a home separately from my spouse (with their permission) in Washington State.

    I am a married person wanting to purchase a home separately from my spouse (with their permission) in Washington State. Will my spouse need to file a quick claim deed at signing?

    Douglas’s Answer

    A quitclaim deed will be needed, although if the purchase involves a loan, it may be difficult to convince the lender to leave your spouse's name off the loan paperwork–lenders like having additional people responsible for the loan. In addition, some kind of paperwork documenting the fact that your spouse agrees the house is your separate property is needed. As long as it is clear, it does not matter what it's called. It could be called a separate property agreement. The agreement should also address what happens if community funds are used to pay any of the expenses of the house, such as mortgage, taxes or upkeep. Are those funds a gift to your separate property or are they reimbursable to the community at death, divorce or sale?

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  • Bigamy - voided 2nd marriage. If the 2nd marriage is void, and I want to file divorce papers for the 1st marriage, what do I do?

    Just found out that I am still married to my 1st husband. I thought it had been annuled. I remarried. So, the second marriage is void. I want to file divorce papers in Nevada with my 1st husband. Do I need any documtation that the second marriage ...

    Douglas’s Answer

    This is not as simple as it sounds and you should probably consult an attorney. Having said that, if appears you don't have a second marriage (there's no need to document that to get the divorce from your first husband). You can get a divorce from your first husband wherever your meet the residency requirements. Then you need to consider whether to obtain a decree of invalidity of marriage to your second husband. Not all attorneys will agree on how necessary or desirable that is. Then you are free to marry your "second husband" for the first time! Whether or not you let your friends and family know about the invalidity/remarriage is up to you.

    It's not terribly important which name you use to file for the divorce from your first husband, but it would be safest to at least include your name from the first marriage. For example, if you married Mr. Smith and were known as Jane Smith, then later took the name of Mr. Jones, you may want to file under the name Jane Smith Jones. Remember that divorces aren't just for you; they're also for official and credit purposes. You may want to make it easier for third parties to keep your names changes straight. You're going to want to research this before you do anything and there's no way anyone here can give you a complete answer.

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  • I signed a Divorce degee, That gave my ex half of company prefered stock,and half 401 plan, company stock rolled over in 401?

    I was in a two year divorce, My ex had all control of paper work when she moved out of our house. On the final papers she stated that I had so much in company prefered stock, which was really rolled over to our 401 in our marriage. I signed the fi...

    Douglas’s Answer

    There's no clear answer about what a court would do with this. A lot will depend on the total circumstances of the case. Your position isn't impossible, but it's very difficult. You absolutely need an attorney.

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  • Why do I have to pay for taxes on a QDRO cash payout for a divorce settlement?

    I will probably receive $75,000, but will lose 15% of that number. It just seems unfair to have to pay that.

    Douglas’s Answer

    If the account is held in your spouse's name and a portion is awarded to you, you can either a) have the full amount rolled over into a 401(k) or IRA, subject to taxes later upon withdrawal or b) take out your portion in cash and pays taxes on it this year. There's no penalty for a recipient who is getting part of the other spouse's account by QDRO to take all of part of the account in cash, just the taxes. This is not true of IRAs, which always incur a penalty and taxes if withdrawn early. IRAs are not divided by QDROs.

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  • How is interest applied on past due amounts for asset distribution for divorce?

    I live in Bellevue, WA. I am paying my ex four payments of $26,190 for asset distribution. I paid the first 3 on time but was late on the 4th and have been making monthly pmts over the last year. Our final docs indicate if any payment is more t...

    Douglas’s Answer

    She is correct. “In applying partial payments to an interest-bearing debt which is due, the rule known as the ‘United States rule,’ is that in the absence of an agreement or statute to the contrary, the payment will be first applied to the interest due. If the payment exceeds the interest due, the surplus goes toward discharging the principal, and the subsequent interest is computed on the balance of the principal. If the payment falls short of the amount of the interest due, the balance of the interest is not generally added to the principal so as to produce interest.” State v. Trask, 98 Wn. App. 690, 990 P.2d 976 (2000). The meaning of the last sentence is that you don't pay interest on unpaid interest, only on unpaid principal.

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  • Can you answer my question below please?

    My ex husband and i split nearly 2 years ago and we have just started divorce proceedings. We have 2 children together, our eldest child lives with his father and his new partner and our youngest child lives with me and my new partner. Two questio...

    Douglas’s Answer

    1. If you have started the divorce proceeding, you will get a Parenting Plan as part of the divorce. That will show the schedule, day-by-day, of where your minor children will be living. After that has been entered, it is usually very difficult to change the primary household of the child. However, if the child becomes adamant about moving at a reasonable age (there is no legal age of choice, but 15 would be a good approximation), then it becomes difficult for the parties and the courts to resist.

    2. The father has the right to be his minor children's primary residential parent if you die. There is no way to put your partner in front of the father unless the father agrees or you (or your partner, after your die) can get the court to agree that it is really necessary. It would take a lot of strong evidence of the father's detriment to the child to persuade the court to do that. Bonding or the child's needs have little or nothing to do with it. You would have to prove the father is seriously unfit. Of course, if the child is 15 or older and is adamant about staying with your partner, it might be another story. While I wouldn't get any hopes up about being able to accomplish this, it's always worth mentioning this in your will or some other notarized document so that your intent is known.

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