If my ex-wife was terminated after our divorce was finalized and she now is getting her 401 retirement, do I have any rights to the 401?

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If my ex-wife was terminated after our divorce was finalized and she now is getting her 401 retirement, do I have any rights to the 401?

My divorce was finalized 2 months ago. My ex-wife was terminated from her employment after our divorce and she is now getting her 401 retirement. Am I entitled to any of the 401 since we were married 14 years?

Asked on August 28, 2012 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It depends.  Since you are divorced, your divorce decree will decide if you have any rights to the 401K.  Some people agree in the divorce that each side will keep whatever property or accounts, including retirement accounts, that are in their possession.  If your divorce decree says "each keeps their own," then "no", you do not have any rights to the 401K.  If your divorce decree did award you a share then your attorney should have sent a qualified domestic relations order to the 401K administrator so they would garnish your share when she decided to retire and send the proceeds to you.  If that order was not sent, you may want to contact your divorce attorney to finish the requisite paperwork.


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