I was granted half of my ex-husbands retirement in the divorce decree. Is there any way he can keep this from me?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Vermilion, OH

It is through the STRS system and I am afraid he will somehow get it withheld from me. I am moving out of state before he retires and am unsure what he might be able to do.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Monte Kenneth Snyder

    Contributor Level 12

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    Answered . Mr. Piper's answer is good. However, the order you will be seeking is not a QDRO. The correct order for the STRS system is a DOPO, [Division of Property Order] The purpose is the same as a QDRO but a bit simpler in some respects. The general procedure is similar also. Be sure that your counsel stays on top of this. I've seen these drag on for years when counsel was dilatory. Also, be advised that pension orders may increase your attorney fees.

  2. Brian Scott Piper

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . If you have had an appropriate benefit divsion order prepared, signed by the court and served upon and approved by the plan administrator, then the answer is no, there is really no way he can keep this from you. (Note that this is not just the divorce decree - this is a separate order called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order "QDRO"). If one was not prepared, contact your divorce attorney and see what the status of this important order is.

    IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE: Mr. Piper's response set forth above is not legal advice and it does not create an... more
  3. Rebecca Lynne Brooks

    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . As long as you have a court order you should be fine. You will need to make sure the STRS has a copy of that order so the disperse the funds appropriately. You may need to consult an attorney should he attempt to withhold the money when retirement time gets here.

  4. Andrew Michael Korduba

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . STRS Pensions need to be divided by DOPO (Court Order). If this is not done, STRS may not know about the divorce and your entitlement to half the pension. He could then make elections to take all the money and blow it before you get your hands on it. Your Divorce lawyer should have gone over all this with you (if you had one). You need to hire a local, experienced Family Law/Divorce lawyer to help you protect your legal right to that money. And do it fast. Good luck!

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