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.
You need to have an attorney review the orders, interview you, review your 401(k) documents, and then advise you.
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If the Decree does not specify how the payment is to be made, then a QDRO whould be sufficient but for the fact that you have already missed the deadline in the Decree. The problem is she can take you to court to enforce the Judgment long before you will be able to get a QDRO approved and a court must sign off on the QDRO meaning you will have to give her notice of the hearing to sign off on the QDRO. I don't think the QDRO is the best way to go under the circumstances set forth above,
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The Qualified Domestic Relations Order is a way for you transfer the money and protect the parties tax position. I would suggest that whatever was negotiated in your agreement should stand and that if you need a qualification or more time, go back to court as soon as possible. Good luck and take care, Happy thanksgiving.
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