Question: I think I need a QDRO for my 401 (k). I got a divorce from my wife because she said I spend too much time with my friends and watching sports. She said I like the Atlanta sports teams like the Flacons, Braves and Hawks more than I like her. We went to counselling and the therapist helped me realize that I really do like those teams more than my wife. I mean they're exciting, fun and never boss me around. So we got divorced two years ago in Fulton County.
But the thing is, I don't know if I want to give my wife half of what's in my 401 (k). I worked hard for that money and I don't think she deserves it. She never really worked and she had an affair with her tennis coach. I noticed her backhand never got any better even after many lessons and I confronted her. She admitted to it and also said that she worked as an escort in college at Georgia State University before we met. She put ads on Craigslist.
I agreed to give her half the 401 (k) in the divorce, but maybe I don't want to now and I'd like to keep the money and use it for myself. My girlfriend is high maintenance and I really could use the money.
But then I think I agreed to it and I think I need a QDRO to get it done, at least that's what my divorce lawyer said. My divorce lawyer doesn't do QDROs for some reason.
So please let me know if I have to do a QDRO and if I have to give the ex-wife that money or not. And tell me if you can do a QDRO for me because I need to get it done, my ex-wife says. Basically, I need a QDRO attorney because the QDRO form is very difficult.
P.W. in Dunwoody, GA
Answer: If the divorce requires you to provide your wife with half of the amount of money in your 401 (k) plan, then you need to do so. If you do not, you can be held in contempt of court and face serious sanctions, including jail time. It really doesn't matter that you think your former wife is undeserving of the funds in the account.
We prepare QDROs for clients. A QDRO would be used to split a 401 (k) account. The retirement account can be divided in any manner that is required by the divorce. A QDRO is used to split not only 401 (k)'s, but also other types of retirement accounts like pensions.