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

Asked almost 3 years ago - Bellevue, WA

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 (by June 1, 2011).

Obviously, I missed the court's deadline either way so I'm trying to get it resolved as quickly as possible but I don't have the money to pay cash. Does the QDRO that sets up an account in her name satisfy the requirement, or do I need to pay her directly?

Additional information

I just noticed that in the PROPERTY TO BE AWARDED THE HUSBAND section it states:

Husband’s T-Mobile 401(k) less 50% of its value as of the Date of
Separation ($4,603.50) to the wife.

This is why I had been working on the QDRO instead of trying to find a way to come up with a cash payment.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Howard M Lewis


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . 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.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to... more
  2. Douglas Paul Becker


    Contributor Level 7


    Lawyers agree


    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . 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.

  3. Bruce Clement


    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You need to have an attorney review the orders, interview you, review your 401(k) documents, and then advise you.

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  4. Dave Hawkins


    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . 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,

    The information is for general information purposes only. Nothing stated above should be taken as legal advice for... more

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