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I was granted a percentage of my ex-husbands' pension our divorce decree, when he retired. we were married for 17 yrs.

Kansas City, MO |

unbeknownced to me, he retired early, took his money, paid for current wifes' wedding. he says it's too late for me , that the money is no longer there. is that true?

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Attorney answers 2


- What a person says may not always be true. Are you certain that what he says is true and that he took all of the money in his retirement rather than just his share?
- If your ex-husband did not follow a court order, he may be found to be in contempt of court. I would speak to an attorney in your area who is experienced in this type of matter.
- The proper method for obtaining court ordered retirement funds following a divorce is through a filing called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. Did you or your attorney file one following the divorce?


As Mr. Coulter has stated, the question really has two parts. First, is the money really gone? If it is, then he's right. You can't get money that isn't there. You can go after him in Court and ask for a judgment against him, but you can only collect if he has money available, or if he has wages that can be garnisheed.

A larger question is, as Mr. Coulter asked, whether or not your attorney filed a QDRO, (qualified domestic relations order). In most cases, (other than military pensions for short marriages), the plan provider actually sends out two checks, whenever he takes a distribution. So, your percentage is sent to you whenever he takes money.

Contact your previous attorney, consult with a new attorney. You can learn more by going to our website at, or set a time for a no-cost consultation.

Best Wishes

This advice is based upon limited and hypothetical circumstances. For an answer that is specific to your situation, please consult an attorney. The answering of this question does not create an attorney/client relationship, and the poster should seek additional information from qualified legal counsel. Many attorneys, like ours, offer no-cost consultations.