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A clever way to enforce financial agreements in divorce

Going through a divorce is tough enough for many parties wanting to move on from their spouses. Enforcing a new divorce decree can be an entirely different battle, especially when it comes obtaining compliance with financial orders (e.g.  spousal support, child support). For example, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, a majority of those awarded child support do not receive the full amount awarded.  

In light of this ominous information, there is still a way to deal with non-compliance when it comes to spousal support. In fact, a growing number of attorneys are finding that using Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) are reliable mechanisms that can ensure that a spouse receives money that they are promised through a court order. 

QDROs are separate orders that are used in conjunction with a divorce decree that authorizes a third party (usually an employer’s benefit program) to discharge benefits to a party named in the order (commonly an ex-spouse). QDROs can be used to direct benefits coming from a pension plan, a 401k account, and other ERISA plans, and they are commonly used as a tool to balance the equitable division of assets in a divorce.

However, more attorneys are using QDROs as a failsafe to ensure that financial obligations are met. With the proper language, a court can order that spousal support payments be secured through future disbursements from a spouse’s retirement account. This has been viewed as a very powerful tool in gaining compliance with support orders and ensuring fairness after a divorce decree is ordered.

If you have additional questions about financial settlements and spousal support during or after divorce, an experienced family law attorney can advise you.

The preceding is for informational purposes only. 

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