How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dimitry K., Esq. Your Own Question
Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Dimitry K., Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I had a QDRO in effect from my 2004 divorce that partitioned

This answer was rated:

I had a QDRO in effect from my 2004 divorce that partitioned off my portion of my ex-husband's SAR stock (available when he either left the company or retired). My ex-husband's company recently declared bankruptcy. Is my ex-husband still responsible for paying me my part of our agreed upon split?
Thank you for your question. I will do my best to assist you with your concerns. If you would like me to clarify my answer, I will be happy to do so.

To answer your question directly, your ex would not be responsible for paying you part of the agreed upon split. The reason is because you were entitled to a benefit when both of you would obtain a benefit. Since this bankruptcy was not the fault or the cause of your ex-husband's behavior, and he himself is also not obtaining any benefit from this now worthless stock, he does not have to pay you because he is also not obtaining any benefit. That stock benefit is now considered a bad asset and one you cannot force him to pay you, as he also does not have that asset anymore.

I am sorry.

Kindly remember to only rate my answer when you are fully satisfied. If you feel the need to rate "Helped a little" or "I expected more”, please stop and reply to me via the CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will be happy to continue further and assist you until I was able to explain your concern to your satisfaction.

Please be aware that if you give any rating below 3 stars then I will not be compensated in any way for helping you today. Good luck to you!

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It is true that my ex-husband didn't receive the benefit at the time of bankruptcy but he did receive any payouts that might have been given throughout the years previous to the bankruptcy and also received growth on the stock. Whereas my portion (which was based on a split of our net worth at the time of our divorce) was left to sit without any growth (he received growth on mine too). I thought that since he claimed it in our net worth at the time of our divorce, he would still owe me my portion. Is there any chance that I could be right?
Thank you for your follow-up, Sara.

Please understand that I do not wish to provide you with false hope, as that would not be fair to you, and also unprofessional for me to do so. It very much depends on how the QDRO was written. If the order expressly only left you with the final payouts then he would not be required to pay you anything since the growth on the stock effectively disappeared the moment the company went bankrupt. Those funds may have been growing but if they were never cashed out, that growth was on paper only. I suggest you review the order but if the order expressly and directly pointed to the pay-out value, then your hope for that interpretation would not be upheld, I am afraid.

Good luck.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Could you explain to me how I can tell if my QDRO is "expressly and directly pointed to the pay-out value"? I'm afraid I don't know how to tell that. I know the QDRO was for all our stock including his SAR stock.
Thank you for your follow-up, Sara.

By that I mean if the QDRO and how it was written stated if you are entitled to the payout benefit, or if there was no benefit, to a different value. If the QDRO solely discussed the payout benefit from the redemption of stock, that is an expressed and direct order for the payout value, and would not permit you to pursue the ex for other benefits. If the QDRO is vague as to value or instead has additional conditions for how you can receive replacement value, then you can claim you were entitled to other benefits. The latter is very unlikely because QDROs typically have clauses and conditions that show benefits and not alternative value.

Good luck.
Dimitry K., Esq. and 9 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you