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QDRO for 401K and Pension Plan funds transferred

San Diego, CA |

Our divorce has been over for since October 2009. We had to fill out QDRO documents for her 401k and Pension plans. For the funds to be transferred into my account. I have sent her several requests for her to sign the QDRO documents. How long do I have to get this done? Things are going well with us. Can I waiting 5 or 10 years to get the funds transferred, or is an expiration date.

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Attorney answers 3


The transfer of retirement funds pursuant to a divorce judgment/decree is important since a death of a party prior to the transfer may render some complications. If your divorce judgment/decree indicates that a QDRO should be entered, then you will need to file a motion with the court seeking a court order that compels your ex-spouse to comply with the court's orders otherwise your ex-spouse may be in contempt.


You need to either file to have the court order her signature, appoint an elisor to sign on her behalf, or if she is violating a court order you can pursue charges of contempt that may lead to fines and jail. Your issue is not uncommon, but it is important as the previous answer stated that you get a QDRO signed and accepted by the plan administrator. The Judgment of Divorce is not binding on the plan administrator. They have to follow the plan or whatever amended directions they have accepted since the plan began. For instance, if your wife dies before a QDRO is in place, then your interest in her retirement plan will go to whoever her estate planning documents and beneficiary forms (or if intestate, according to state law) will determine who gets the monies you own according to the judgment.


Don't wait any longer. Call your wife and ask her to sign the QDRO documents, and if she refuses, hire a Family Law Attorney to file a Motion to have the orders on the QDROs signed by the court without her signature. If she remarries and dies before the QDROs have been served on your wife's 401K and Pension Plans, her new spouse will be the beneficiary of the interests that you should have received, and you will be powerless to get your share.

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