A retirement account which accrued during the marriage is presumed to be community property and divisible. If the husband cashed out a 401(k) plan acquired during the marriage, the proceeds would probably retain its community property nature, and thus still be divisible. If the husband got court authority to cash out the plan and keep the money, it would probably be allowed to stand. The actual answers may depend on facts that you have not identified. You should consult with an experienced attorney.
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The first thing that the wife has to do is to contact an experienced family law attorney. It appears that her relying on her husband to follow through on an agreement is clearly not working.
Since they are still negotiating and the dissolution is not final, she may seek a temporary restraining order to maintain the status quo. The first thing to do for the wife and counsel is to find out what the current status are of each 401(k) at present. Then, once you know what's happended to them, you can take immediate action to protect the balance of the 401(k)s and any distributions made to the husband. Finally, when they have been protected, you can settle the case and take action to distribute.
If the husband has taken funds from the retirement funds, you are not going to settle the case and then try to chase funds. Protect the assets, assemble info and then settle.
The material provided herein is not legal advice and there is no attorney client relationship existing herein.
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