Unfortunately, despite having a divorce settlement agreement, your ex-spouse may not pay court-ordered alimony or child support payments as directed. In some cases, you may be able to look to your ex’s retirement accounts for fulfillment of this obligation.
A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is a judgment, decree or order that enables an alternate payee to receive all or a portion of the benefits payable to a participant in a retirement plan. In addition to dividing retirement plans as marital property in a divorce settlement, a separate Qualified Domestic Relations Order can sometimes be applied to divorce situations involving child support, alimony and arrearage.
With a QDRO, a judge can order that you receive part of your spouse’s retirement benefits, including pension plans, 401Ks, 403Bs and other ERISA plans with regard to property division in divorce. Additionally, a separate QDRO can be created to target your spouse’s remaining retirement funds to cover alimony, child support and related arrearage. In fact, QDROs have become an increasingly important tool for collection of past due support payments, and even for securing future payments in the form of collateralizing support.
If your ex-spouse is not keeping up with court ordered child support or if you have been ordered to pay these expenses, you may have options with regard to tapping retirement funds free from penalty to catch up on arrears and make or receive payments. Contact the Law Offices of Ronald L. Bell for help with a child support or spousal maintenance matter.