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Is there a statute of limitations in MA on how long a spouse has to ask for funds collected during the marriage ie. from a 401K?

Worcester, MA |

All information was offered to spouse and their attorney, they never followed up even though on numberous occasions the same info was given to both.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. I believe the sub text to your question is as follows: Your divorce specified a division of your 401K plan and years have passed with no Qualified Domestic Relations Order ever being approved by the court post-divorce, dividing the plan in accord with the divorce judgment. If I am correct on guessing the fact pattern and there is a court order - there is no statute of limitations whereby your ex waives their rights to collect. A judgment is a judgment. What may change over time is when you go into payout status under the plan. If you are the holder of the plan, the initial efforts to effectuate the court order are your obligation and if your ex discovers the oversight, s/he may seek to hold you in contempt of court for failing to submit a "QDRO" to the court.


  2. I am operating under the assumption that you are already divorces, and if you are then as long as you provided all the necessary information about your 401K then all property divisions are final, absent fraud or duress. If, however you are still married then until you are divorced the funds are divisible.


  3. Not as far as I know.


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  4. I agree with the substance of the previous posts since this question asks about dividing a "401K." However, should we be discussing certain pension plans which had, for instance, pre-retirement death benefits, the responses may be much different. In those cases, a plan administrator cannot pay out death benefits if they were never alerted to an alternate payee. For instance, the plan participant passes before retirement, but the parties never notified the plan of the identity of an ex spouse. Assuming there are no issues of remarriage by the plan participant, there are some federal cases which may side with the plan in denying such benefits to the alternate payee (regardless as to the state court divorce judgment.) . See Samaroo v. Samaroo, 193 F.3d 185 (3d Cir. 1999). Bottom line, speak to an experience family law attorney as some issues, like these, can be complex.

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