Who can I hire to help me deal w this 401k issue? - Talk About Marriage
Financial Problems in Marriage When financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2016, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Who can I hire to help me deal w this 401k issue?

Not sure if this is the correct forum, but hopefully someone here can help...

I'm recently divorced and ex was supposed to transfer part of our 401k to me (it's currently in his name only). For some reason he's finding it impossible to handle (he's a lawyer, I feel like it might be more an emotional problem than anything else) and tells me he feels like he's not qualified to handle it and doesn't have the money to pay someone.

He's now about 7k behind in child support and I'm worried that I'm gonna lose my apartment, which would obviously be a nightmare. So I feel like I should be able to hire someone on contingency (like, pay them with the fruits of the transaction) to do whatever work is required to transfer the money from him to me and to cash out enough of it to get me past this rough patch (actually just starting a new job this week, so frustrating he couldn't hold it together for just 3 more months or so!). But I don't know who to call. What kind of professional handles that sort of thing? Would it be some sort of lawyer? Or someone more financial?

Thanks for any help!

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2016, 01:02 PM
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Why he that in arrears in CS?
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2016, 01:20 PM
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Re: Who can I hire to help me deal w this 401k issue?

If he is still with the same employer, the employer or the sponsor of the 401k plan should be assisting with the transfer to your name. It is possible that this is a lengthy progress. His employer or plan administrator would be handling this. Did you mean his IRA?

Are you then taking a cash withdrawal from the 401K? You will be responsible for the federal and state taxes plus an additional 10% penalty, so that might eat into about 40% of what you cash out. Keep that in mind.

Yes, as a lawyer why is he that far behind in CS? Is he paying his lawyer first rather than paying CS? You may have to go back to court and have the judge find him in contempt for failing to pay the CS.

ETA: If the 401K is still in his name only, he can take the cash withdrawal easily and pay you what he owes you.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2016, 01:47 PM
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Re: Who can I hire to help me deal w this 401k issue?

You're dealing with your H, who professionally is an attorney!

To forestall his ability to potentially pull the wool over your eyes, hire another lawyer to foremostly represent your interests, and to prevent any unnecessary delays in getting your share of that 401k properly shifted over to you, as per the mandates of the divorce decree!

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2016, 01:53 PM
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Re: Who can I hire to help me deal w this 401k issue?

There was a wife of one of our employees that was awarded 1/2 of his 401(k) in their divorce and all that was involved was her attorney had to send a copy of the divorce agreement to the company in charge of the 401(k), the employee signed a form to have the money transferred, after that was completed, the money was transferred. Perhaps you should talk to the attorney that handled your divorce for instructions.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2016, 01:53 PM
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Re: Who can I hire to help me deal w this 401k issue?

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Originally Posted by blueinbr View Post
If he is still with the same employer, the employer or the sponsor of the 401k plan should be assisting with the transfer to your name. It is possible that this is a lengthy progress. His employer or plan administrator would be handling this. Did you mean his IRA?

Are you then taking a cash withdrawal from the 401K? You will be responsible for the federal and state taxes plus an additional 10% penalty, so that might eat into about 40% of what you cash out. Keep that in mind.

Yes, as a lawyer why is he that far behind in CS? Is he paying his lawyer first rather than paying CS? You may have to go back to court and have the judge find him in contempt for failing to pay the CS.

ETA: If the 401K is still in his name only, he can take the cash withdrawal easily and pay you what he owes you.
There is no 10% penalty with a QDRO, which should have been part of the divorce settlement.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2016, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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He's a law professor, so he's not making as much as a lot of private attorneys. I think it's still plenty, tho, around 125,000 I believe. But he lives way beyond his means. And he's also taken the other woman to Cancun, London, and Paris in the last year. And he's just not good w money. He's actually had utilities shut off at his place for days at a time and while the kids were there. But during that same time period the kids bring their lunch boxes home to my place and they've got Starbucks sandwiches in there. I seem to be able to live comfortably enough on less.

I'm having a hard time making myself enforce the court order. It says in there that he's supposed to have my $ direct deposited and I think it'd be s fairly simple process to enforce that. But I feel like he's really gonna be screwed if I do it. I probably need to, though, or at this rate we'll both lose the roofs over our heads.

I do understand about the taxes and penalties. It totally sucks, but I'm really getting scared that I won't have a place to live otherwise. My lease is up in July and I've run thru my emergency fund. Rent was three days late beyond the grace period last month and eviction proceedings were started. I know they can't really evict me that easily, but if my rent is late for may and June, I feel like they're not going to want to let me sign in again. I think the 401k is going to have to keep me from becoming homeless.

He told me that he cannot cash out any money from the account but that he can take a loan from it. So last month I told him what I needed to cover (2 months of unpaid utilities, car registration 2 mos late so penalties there, rent, both credit cards a month behind, oil and insurance for my car) and he decided that he couldn't give me what I asked for and only took out 2000. I had to pay 1635 just for the rent and use the remaining 365 for gas, food, an unexpected but necessary car repair, so none of that other stuff has been dealt with. I think he's just not dealing w the reality. I know it would hurt him to take out a bigger loan, but not doing it is going to totally sink us.

Ugh. Sorry for the vent!

Part of the problem is that emotionally I am having a really hard time w the idea of legal action. I'm hoping I can just hire someone to come in and turn that 401k into usable money for me.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2016, 02:04 PM
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Re: Who can I hire to help me deal w this 401k issue?

There are companies out there that specialize in QDRO's (qualified domestic relations order) I think one is called QDRO Pros you can google them. That would take care of getting the 401K, as for the back child support you should check in with your County Courthouse and find out about getting his wages garnished.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2016, 02:26 PM
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Re: Who can I hire to help me deal w this 401k issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by grays View Post
He's a law professor, so he's not making as much as a lot of private attorneys. I think it's still plenty, tho, around 125,000 I believe. But he lives way beyond his means. And he's also taken the other woman to Cancun, London, and Paris in the last year. And he's just not good w money. He's actually had utilities shut off at his place for days at a time and while the kids were there. But during that same time period the kids bring their lunch boxes home to my place and they've got Starbucks sandwiches in there. I seem to be able to live comfortably enough on less.

I'm having a hard time making myself enforce the court order. It says in there that he's supposed to have my $ direct deposited and I think it'd be s fairly simple process to enforce that. But I feel like he's really gonna be screwed if I do it. I probably need to, though, or at this rate we'll both lose the roofs over our heads.

I do understand about the taxes and penalties. It totally sucks, but I'm really getting scared that I won't have a place to live otherwise. My lease is up in July and I've run thru my emergency fund. Rent was three days late beyond the grace period last month and eviction proceedings were started. I know they can't really evict me that easily, but if my rent is late for may and June, I feel like they're not going to want to let me sign in again. I think the 401k is going to have to keep me from becoming homeless.

He told me that he cannot cash out any money from the account but that he can take a loan from it. So last month I told him what I needed to cover (2 months of unpaid utilities, car registration 2 mos late so penalties there, rent, both credit cards a month behind, oil and insurance for my car) and he decided that he couldn't give me what I asked for and only took out 2000. I had to pay 1635 just for the rent and use the remaining 365 for gas, food, an unexpected but necessary car repair, so none of that other stuff has been dealt with. I think he's just not dealing w the reality. I know it would hurt him to take out a bigger loan, but not doing it is going to totally sink us.

Ugh. Sorry for the vent!

Part of the problem is that emotionally I am having a really hard time w the idea of legal action. I'm hoping I can just hire someone to come in and turn that 401k into usable money for me.
See what I bolded above... and brace for a little tough love. (And all of this is said with your best interest at heart.)

If he's screwed, THAT'S NOT YOUR FVCKING PROBLEM.

All the bullsh!t behavior on his part, which you've outlined above, is done to control you and keep you dependent on him. Why? Because he's a jackass. He took the POSOW on fancy vacations instead of paying his CS? This is not a man who is deserving of your sympathy. He gave you just enough money, which he "borrowed" against his 401k (frankly, I am skeptical that is where the money came from), to help pay for stuff to keep you grateful and off his back about the CS, but not enough money that you're in the clear until your new job pays out, just so that he can keep you on the hook. He knows that you will have to come to him for money again, and that's the way he wants it. If you are dependent on him financially, he has all the power and you have none. This is a man who would rather destroy you financially than take care of his kids. This has nothing to do with, "He's just not good with money" or living beyond his means. This is a case of a man who wants to continue to play puppeteer and control your strings, rather than just pay up. And if he's living beyond his means, it's time for him to grow up.

There are 2 things that you need to do:

1. Get your lawyer to send the necessary paperwork to the company holding the 401k, and get that sh!t switched over right now. There's no reason this should take so long. Your XH is smart enough to figure it out, he's just playing dumb as a passive-aggressive tactic to control you and get you to do all the work. (My XH pulled this sh!t with me all the time.)

2. Get the CS direct deposit order enforced. I don't know what that would take, but the courts can garnish his wages if they need to. They will probably have to. This man isn't going to give you anything willingly. He can learn to live within his new means after the wage garnishment.

Don't cash out that 401k unless you absolutely, absolutely have to. Don't miss the forest for the trees--that's the beginning of your nest egg for when you retire. It doesn't seem like taking out a little right now will matter much, but it will make a big difference in the value amount when you retire.

Stop letting him get away with this bullsh!t! He's doing this because you're letting him.

~Happily un-married since December 9, 2013~
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2016, 06:40 AM
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Re: Who can I hire to help me deal w this 401k issue?

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There is no 10% penalty with a QDRO, which should have been part of the divorce settlement.
This is absolutely correct but the QDRO must have been properly established and verified. Based on the original post I'm not optomistic about that.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2016, 06:54 AM
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Re: Who can I hire to help me deal w this 401k issue?

lawyer and fast.

hes spending it once its gone the problem will be worst.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2016, 06:58 AM
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Re: Who can I hire to help me deal w this 401k issue?

Since the CS is court ordered he's in breach and you should contact the court and have his wages garnished. You sound like you're reluctant to do this.

LISTEN TO ME, THERE IS NO NICE WAY OF GETTING THESE THINGS TAKEN CARE OF IF THE OPPOSING PARTY IS DRAGGING THEIR FEET!

If you can't do this on your own "have your attorney" do it. If you're not strong enough mentally that's what lawyers get paid for.

CS payments should always be done through the courts. Handling CS between parties outside the court system is generally disastrous.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2016, 06:23 PM
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Re: Who can I hire to help me deal w this 401k issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by grays View Post

I'm having a hard time making myself enforce the court order. It says in there that he's supposed to have my $ direct deposited and I think it'd be s fairly simple process to enforce that. But I feel like he's really gonna be screwed if I do it.
Really? He left you for another woman and won't pay you what he owes you, and you might lose your home, and you worry HE will be screwed? What's wrong with this picture? Who in your life will give you a good 2x4 to get you moving?
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 05:04 PM
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Re: Who can I hire to help me deal w this 401k issue?

When I did my divorce I called Vanguard (where my IRA was held) and asked them what they needed for the transfer and made sure that was written correctly in the settlement agreement. I then used their form that they provided to me. It was still a PITA. Call the 401K company and ask about a transfer of assets due to divorce form. It is a lot easier to transfer money to your account with the same company (create one if you need) than it is to transfer money to an outside company.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 07:12 PM
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When the QRDO is written it then has to go to the 401k plan administer.

It's very common for the actual money to take 4-6 months to actually be split into your own account. Seems Fidelity and Vanguard both take many months to process things.

Don't expect a judge to sign the QRDO and you get a check next week. Has nothing to do with the court it's the 401k plans taking their sweet time.
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