Thank you for the additional clarification.
The problem with your plan is that federal law dictates that only on a divorce
may the court issue a QDRO for the division of marital retirement accounts, such that there is no penalty associated with the transfer of the funds.
While in the few states that do allow a Legal Separation, finalized through the court just as a divorce is, may issue the QDRO, NY is not one of those few states.
The QDRO may not, under federal law, be issued until your divorce decree.
Additionally, you inquired about the cost of having a QDRO prepared. The QDRO is by far the most complicated document that is prepared in a divorce. So complicated that the majority of family law
practitioners do not prepare them but rather have specialists prepare the documents for their clients. The cost for the document preparation runs about $1,000 to $1,500, and it will not be signed by a judge until the time the decree is entered or at some time thereafter.
At the present time, if you wife has to have the money to live on, all that you can offer her is that you will withdraw the funds, pay the penalty and the taxes on the money that you take out, and give her what remains from the withdrawal. Unfortunately that will be a very expensive way to get money, and you would be better off taking a loan, or co-signing for her to take a cash loan. I'm sorry.
I wish you the best in 2013.
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