Does a QDRO order divide 401k amount by shares in account or dollar value of the account?

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Does a QDRO order divide 401k amount by shares in account or dollar value of the account?

The divorce decree was written stating that wife is entitled to 50% of balance of husband’s 401k account. QDRO order was not written until 1-1/2 yrs after divorce was final. When money was withdrawn to rolled over to wife’s account, the amount was $10,000 less than anticipated. I was told that this was due to the decline in the value of the stock. Since the division is by “shares” and the value of those shares has decreased that was all that should be paid. If the division was by “shares” why was the monetary value and not the number of shares listed in the divorce decree?

Asked on June 4, 2009 under Family Law, South Carolina

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

The divorce decree listed the monetary value of the account for purposes of the overall distribution, and it was probably (or should have been close to) the value of the account as of the date of the decree.  If the market had gone up, between the decree and the QDRO, you would have gotten your share of the increase.

So, it doesn't sound like anything improper has happened here.  But I'm not a South Carolina attorney, and I haven't seen the documents or otherwise learned the facts of your case.  To be certain, you need to talk to a lawyer in your area about this. If going back to the attorney who handled your divorce isn't an option, one place to find a qualified lawyer is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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