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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 30391
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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Dear Lucy, I'm a mother of a disabled little girl

Customer Question

Dear Lucy,
Hi, I'm a mother of a disabled little girl who's husband is divorcing me...and I just want you to know that you have been an answer to my "prayer" with your "AWESOME" input on my questions. Thank you so much! :-)
We just signed the final divorce paperwork on Jan 15, 2016. With that said here is another question in my divorce regarding now the QDRO part. (and want you to know that the judge is making me pay back 2 months of my spousal support.- (Dec & Jan)..because he and my ex-husand's (BULLY) lawyer said I should have gotten the final divorce decree signed 2 months ago by Nov. 30th (didn't because my ex husband & I had added some wording to it that we both could not agree on and also lost time due to the Thanksgiving Holiday...and they all know I've been a stay at home mother taking care of my disabled daughter for the past 7 years and do not presently have a it's just awful!!! :-(
Anyway, my ex husband works for Dell and they said I get half of his 401K. (I also want you to know that my ex had around $70,000.00 in his 401K and took a loan out against his 401K for $25,000.00 a few days before the divorce in the amount of $25,000.00 that was deposited into his checking personal account on Oct. 15, 2014 and he filed for divorce, On Oct. 16, 2014 -a day before he filed for divorce. Well like I told you before he has been hiding things from luckily I found paperwork on another retirement account WHICH MIND YOU HE DID NO DISCLOSE AT ALL DURING HIS WRITTEN DISCOVERY ANSWERS until my lawyer told them we had paperwork from a (a 401a called TIAA/CREF - please see attached paperwork) from his previous job ( UCO University) he worked at while we were married (we married in Sept. 26, 2004). And that was also put into my final divorce decree (please refer to number 11. "Division of Personal and Intangible Property" i and ii in the 1-15-16 divorce decree)
Well now my lawyer is telling me that my ex husband and his lawyer want to change the wording the the QDRO regarding the 401a TIAA/CREF retirement or they won't sign the QDRO (please refer to attached email from my exhusband’s lawyer regarding QDRO.
LUCY, I guess my question to you would be please look what I wrote to my lawyer the email attached that I wrote to my lawyer regarding this issue..and explain to me if I am wrong and what I am exactly entitled here and what we can do to find out the amount I'm entitled to in regards ***** ***** retirement accounts. (Also can we subpoena Merrill Lynch to find out if my ex husband has any IRA accounts with them)
Again, thank you for your kind help in this matter and any suggestions you may have for me. Because this is money for me and my disabled child’s future.
Sincerely, a “grateful” mother of a special needs child.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi Nadene,

Thank you very much for your kind words and for requesting me. I'm afraid I'm about to sign off, and I'm going to be offline most of the weekend. I'm going to open this up to the other experts so you can find someone to give you a timely answer. Have a good evening.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I really thought someone would pick this up over the weekend, but I'm back now. I'm sorry for the delay.

You're not wrong. The court order specifically says that you get 50% of the TIAA/CREF account. If you have proof that it exists, your lawyer should already have it. But either way, they can't refuse to sign. That would be lovely, of course, if people could just refuse to pay attention to court orders - criminals could not go to jail, absentee parents could not pay child support, and the entire court system would be functionally useless. If they won't sign, they're in contempt, and your lawyer can file a motion where you go back to court and stand there staring at your ex-husband until he signs. Because he doesn't have a legal reason NOT to sign, you can also ask the judge to order him to pay your attorney's fees if that happens. The other option is to have your lawyer send him a letter giving him one last chance to sign before you move for contempt + attorney's fees. But once the QDRO accurately reflects the court order (meaning the dates on it are changed), he has to sign it.

Because the order refers to the retirement plans based on type and not where they are housed, you would be able to claim half the money in certain types of Merill Lynch account, so you could subpoena them to find out what accounts there are. That should have been done during the discovery phrase, before the judge entered a ruling.

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