In a divorce that includes a retirement plan, a domestic relations order (DRO) is issued by the state court to assign benefits from the employer to another person (usually the employee’s spouse, known as the alternate payee). The retirement plan that administers these benefits must receive this order. Certain federal requirements must be met and it is up to the plan to determine if the order meets them. If the order meets the requirements, it then becomes a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). In the event that the order gets denied, the state court may modify the order to appease the plan’s objections. An appeal to a federal or state court may be made regarding the plan’s decision to qualify the DRO. The case below discusses an issue regarding a QDRO and if a wife is entitled to the benefits of their deceased ex-spouse. Continue reading →
Stephens v. Alliant Techsystems Corp., 714 F. App’x 841 (10th Cir. 2017) (unpublished)
(a) Facts: A husband divorced in Utah. A Utah state court entered at least two DROs dividing retirement benefits, each time reserving jurisdiction to amend the order in the future. The plan qualified the DROs.
I have received spousal alimony since a 2003 court order until death. I would like to get an increase because of the economy. My ex-spouse receives three times my social security and retirement. His home is paid for and he owes three motor vehicles. His social security and retirement from a big local company is great. I received zero from this after 38 years of marriage. He was in Management. What are my chances of getting an increase?
Walsh v. Dively, 551 B.R. 570 (W.D. Pa. 2016)
Facts: When husband and wife were divorced in Pennsylvania, they agreed that the wife would receive 50% of the husband’s retirement. The agreement was incorporated into the divorce decree, but no DRO was entered. Continue reading →
Carolyn Woodruff, a North Carolina CPA and Family Law Specialist, frequently is faced in sending a divorce client in the right direction after receiving a retirement plan in a divorce settlement. Here are her thoughts on the subject: Continue reading →
Hammernik v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo. 2014-170, 2014 WL 4119398 (2014)
(a) Facts: A husband and wife were divorced in Wisconsin. In 2003, before the divorce, the husband’s business encountered hard times, and he withdrew $104,909 from his personal retirement account to pay living expenses. Continue reading →