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How long does someone have to file a QDRO after divorce is finalized?

Omaha, NE |
Filed under: Divorce

My divorce was finalized 5 months ago. My ex has not filed the QDRO to take his portion of my 401K yet. Is there a time limit on how long he has to file that before he loses his rights to the money? He is also supposed to pay a portion of that money to me as repayment of our mutual debt. There was a time limit on that and it has passed, but before I take him back to court for not paying me the money he owes me I want to know if he is still allowed to take money from my 401K. Thank you for your help.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. There is no generally real time limit on when your ex-spouse may obtain the QDRO to get funds from your account, although you should consult an attorney in your area regarding any applicable statute of limitations. However, it is unlikely that he would lose any rights within 5 months. That said, the best rule for timing on QDROs is - the sooner the better. Better to do it while it is still fresh in your minds, and before any withdrawals are made or the market crashes. Generally, the spouse who will be getting the money (your ex-husband, in this case) is responsible for getting the QDRO prepared. However, youmay want to get it done yourself, so that the divorce is truly over.

  2. Contact you lawyer and they should be able to get the matter resolved or get a new lawyer to help.

    Most lawyers will give you a free consultation if you ask for one. We do this all the time, but remember that our time is valuable and you should stay with the people who help you the most.

  3. I would say yes, he is still allowed to take his share out of the QDRO, even though several months have passed. You should consult an attorney about filing a show cause action (aka a contempt action) for his delay in filing the Decree, and if he is found in contempt, he could be responsible for your attorney fees. Feel free to call and set up a free consultation.

  4. There is no specific time limit. You indicate he hasn't filed the QDRO but it is unclear whether it hasn't been drafted and submitted to the Court or if it hasn't been provided to the fund manager yet. Talk with your divorce attorney to be sure of the exact status. If you need to roll over your account or move funds, etc., you could try an Order to Show Cause to force him to file it so you can move your money. That said, I have seen cases where a party never filed the QDRO at all and then tried to come back years later after the money had been moved/spent and the court did find that there was nothing that could be done. Five months is not likely to be long enough for that, however. Again, check with the attorney who handled your divorce case.

    This Web site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and GordenLaw, LLC. The Answer given above does not constitute legal advice and is designed to provide general knowledge only. The Attorney responding above is not able to advise you specifically about your issue without further details of your case and establishing an attorney-client representation.

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