Review of numbers

Here is my situation. We have about 190k in retirement accounts, 60k in home equity, and 60k in debt. So far we are trying a collaborative divorce. I think we will make it. I’d like to give her the home and home equity. I’d like to withdraw money from retirement to clear the debts (with penalties and taxes). The main retirement account will only let me withdraw about 10k, or 60k with a hardship. But I don’t think we qualify for a hardship. I was wondering if we could have a QDRO drawn up that says she gets 100K from the retirement account. I figure in a 10% penalty and 30% in tax. The remainder should clear the 60k in debt, and leave enough in retirement that I’d be ok swapping retirement for home equity.

Does this seem possible? I hate to draw down retirement that much, but we both have a lot of years left to work and can rebuild.


Yes, this is possible. Have you considered other ways to pay off or divide the debt without having to incur the tax penalties associated with your retirement account? If a retirement account is divided using a QDRO and a portion of the funds are rolled over or transferred into the spouse’s retirement account, then no tax penalties will be incurred. However, it is possible to transfer the funds from a retirement account to a non-retirement account using a QDRO, but, as you’ve mentioned, there will be tax penalties.