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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 111457
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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In a regular, straightforward divorce, the two parties were

Customer Question

In a regular, straightforward divorce, the two parties were married for 8 years. No children or significant events subsequent to the marriage have occurred. Husband has a vested pension for life with no lump sum provision nor any provisions such as continued pension benefits if husband precedes wife in death. Value of monthly pension amount is fixed and there is no provision for pension to increase or decrease and pension ends upon death or working spouse, the husband.
Separation occurred almost a year ago and divorce proceedings were filed by wife at about that time. Husband stopped working, filed for early pension which is approved just the amount decreases. He has been living off his reduced pension since age 59. He is 61 today.
Wife's attorney has never filed for a pre-determined qdro. Husband worked for an employer who paid all pension contributions for 25 years and they were married for 8 years out of the 25 so wife should be entitled to close to a 33% +/- distribution of pension which is already been being paid to husband only for 2 years. Wife has received nothing to date. When should the wife's attorney submit a first round of the QDRO? I worked for same employer, under same terms, regards ***** ***** EX-wife's attorney filed initial qdro within 2 months of separation. Knowing the pension administers issues, it took 5 submissions of the qdro before accepted. I now know exactly what they want. I my case in same situation just a year ago, in INDIANA at the very first contact by wife's attorney of a pending divorce, Plan deducted my Ex-wife's share immediately and put in in an escrow-type acct. I did not receive these funds nor did wife, but plan admin. stated that it was their absolute policy that upon first notice a dissolution is in the works, they must take wife's share (or non worker's)and hold it. Our divorce was final 6 months later. I continued to get only my same portion of my pension (75%), but ex wife did not receive proceeds that were in escrow by plan admin. some $6000. I contacted plan and asked why neither I nor my Ex wife had received the escrowed funds. They only required a copy of the decree which took no issue of a normal apportionment which was 75% to me and 25% to my Ex based upon years of pension accrual and years married. To my surprise, they sent funds to me. I signed check over to her as I felt the concept was correct. In case I described since I know plan admin meets only once per month to consider qdro application, it was good we filed early so that by issue of decree, qdro was approved. Should the non-pensioned person not get application is as soon as separation? Ex husband could pass while attorney play another year. No? What justifies waiting on a fixed pension a day longer than the law provides?
The divorce was filed a year ago that I am writing about, and just yesterday wife's attorney had finally received husbands statement of assets and liabilities. Husband continues to life in home, wife has no chance for split of homes equity. Time for new attorney?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
The pension plan should send the non-pensioned spouse their share directly pursuant to the QDRO. If there was a court order to the plan administrator to provide her 25% and they are sending it to the husband, you need to go to the court and get the court to order the pension plan to give the money to the non-pension spouse they are entitled to.
As far as SS or SSDI benefits, those are personal to the recipient and are not shared or divided.
If the non-pension spouse is having an issue getting their payments and the attorney is not getting this fixed, it is indeed time for a new attorney if this one is not doing as instructed to straighten these issues out.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I think you misunderstand. EX filed for divorce end of August. We both were given lmmediately the dicloser of assets and liabilities paperwork. I completed mine immediately and just four days ago, my husband completed his! This is simple. He gets fixed pension of which I am entitled to 30% and he gets SSID since two years post marriage. We are married over 8 years ago so his income is a one hour exercise to complete, yet both lawyers seem to be ok with him dragging his feet until this week. I get nothing from him. My lawyer has yet to submit a qdro for which just delays me seeing anything! When could he submit a
Qdro. I am fortunate that my new boyfriend has exact same pension administrator, same ex-enployer, and went through 6 qdro submissions to administrator before they were satisfied. However upon first submission of errored qdro, admin. did immediately begin "holding" her "share" in escrow pending final decree. Should my atty. Accept 5+ months for simply income-liability issues? No qdro initial submission?
He lives in marital home with no indication of sale or buyout. My debt score is being at jeopardy because judge-ordered insurance bills (medical not being paid by his insurance ). I havepaid my atty $500 retainer and gotten nothing even by his admission. husband lives in new home, gets $ 2800 per month as soon as he got laid off 2 years into the marriage, he gets $1450 a month pension and I moved myself, pay fent, and work rotating ft shift in a hospital ER room for $18/hr. He quit working when fired and just drinks all day and claims he can't worl. I had read that in indiana, that said taken during marriage as essentially income (only said not ssi) could be claimed? Sorry so long. You get General picture. Time to find new stty. Based upon prtf. This far?Retta Pauline
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

Your lawyer should be doing the QDRO as soon as possible now that he has all of the information. He needs to be correcting any errors in the QDRO, but if the administrator knows the money is going to be ordered, then it is going to be held until the order is corrected. If the spouse is going to be entitled to the money even if there is a problem with the first QDRO the plan can hold the spousal share in escrow until corrected, that is not an issue.

The issue is the fault of your lawyer not submitting a corrected QDRO, which you need to get on your lawyer about.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
He never submitted ANY qdros.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
I am sorry, perhaps you are trying to include too much information to me or are mixing it up, but you typed, " However upon first submission of errored qdro, admin. did immediately begin "holding" her "share" in escrow pending final decree. Should my atty. Accept 5+ months for simply income-liability issues? "
A plan administrator CANNOT HOLD ANY MONEY WITHOUT A QDRO OR COURT ORDER, so you need to get your attorney to get this fixed, because your attorney is the one who is responsible once they receive the information they required.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I am Rettas Bf. I worked with same
Plan admin. My ex wife's atty submitted flawed qdro, but at least it for funds held in escrow. Her atty has subbmitted nothing despite my willingness to share a of my attempts so he should be just able to go to final qdro and get it right first time. Sry for confusion and typos
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Okay, well if this is about Rettas plan and not your plan, how about we do not bring up anything about your situation previously and that can help avoid confusion.
Her attorney needs to get the QDRO filed, until he does so, I do not know what she expects to be done, because the plan administrator is supposed to have a court order before holding the money. If her attorney did not get anything filed then this is something she needs to fight with her attorney over. If he did not file it because her husband was dragging his feet, then her attorney can ask for money damages for that in court.
If her attorney is not doing something he is supposed to be doing as she is directing, she needs to fire him and get a new attorney who will do the job.

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