QDRO's on 401k ...help?


#1

I have a 401k plan that I cannot touch without a hardship withdrawl ( I do not qualify for any of the reasons ) and my wife cashed hers out and took loans out against hers right before DOS ( probably pre-planning before she decided to leave ). All papers and motions and requests by her lawyer/ my ex-lawyer stated that we would keep our 401k’s separate and not split. However, the last request recently sent to me to try to reach agreement without going to court has her wanting half my 401k via a QDRO. I do not think this is fair since her 401k is now emptied and I could not do the same before DOS or I would have. Do I have any recourse to stop her from getting half my 401k. Reading my 401k verbiage and terms…it seems death and then my kids get the benefits are the only out clause I read, since I have removed her as a beneficiary from the plan…I hope this is not the only way or chance to keep her from reaching into my 401k via QDRO…not that I am even hoping for that, God forbid…I am just trying to keep her away from the only savings plan I have left…She was or is considered the breadwinner in the family after we ( myself and kids ) sacrificed through multiple moves and changes in our lives in recent years as she rose to the top on the corporate ladder to make more than $150,000 a year base salary, after getting MBA and job hopping through major cities. I sacrificed possible promotions to assist in her quest while attending to our kids needs so she could accelerate to where she is now. Currently, her well paid lawyer is trying to railroad me, as I have now become pro se, due to not being able to afford an attorney anymore after 10 months with a lawyer getting nowhere but in circles and lost more than $12k…please help? Looking for good positive advice…Thank you.


#2

Martial property, included retirement accounts is normally divided 50/50. Her accounts should be valued as they existed prior to her taking loans on the same if she did so in anticipation of separation. If the total value of martial property (at the time of separation) can be divided equally without tapping into your retirement account, you should present that division to the other side as an offer to settle.