Often clients are concerned that once a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (or QDRO) is prepared, their former spouse will refuse to sign the QDRO. Generally, both parties’ signatures are required in order to file the QDRO at court.
CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS FOR QDROs
If the division of your retirement benefits was a part of your judgment of dissolution or court filed marital settlement agreement, then there is likely already a court order in place directing your former spouse to cooperate with the QDRO. You, or your attorney, can remind your former spouse that if he/she refuses to sign any Domestic Relations Order, he/she will be in violation of the previous court order. You can commence contempt proceedings against your former spouse. Any person who willfully disobeys a court order, and has both the knowledge and ability to comply with that order, and is found guilty of contempt may be fined, required to pay attorneys’ fees, ordered to perform community service, or imprisoned.
MOTION TO APPOINT AN ELISOR FOR A QDRO
Another alternative is to file a motion to appoint an elisor. An elisor allows a court-appointed individual to sign the QDRO on your former spouse’s behalf if he/she refuses to sign. Your divorce attorney can assist you with this motion, which usually begins by completing and filing a “Request for Order” with the court that heard your divorce matter. If you do not have an attorney, your local family law facilitator’s office may be able to assist you.
THE GOOD NEWS
The good news is that once a former spouse is made aware of the penalties for refusing to sign a QDRO, he/she will often become cooperative. If you need help with a QDRO or have other Qualified Domestic Relations Order Questions, please call QDRO Helper today at (619) 786-QDRO or click here for a new client packet.
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