Alimony once was a wife and stay-at-home mother reaching an agreement with her ex-husband regarding both spousal and child support. He agrees to pay a set amount every month and pays for a few months, but then suddenly stops. If this describes the predicament you find yourself in, then you may wonder what avenues you can pursue to recover what you're owed in your case.
One option you may want ot consider if you are facing this same issue is to head back to court and have a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) put in place.
In case you're not familiar with a QDRO, it's a judicial order that can allow you to have proceeds earmarked for your ex's retirement fund, for example, assigned instead to you to cover his court-ordered spousal or child support obligations.
They can be useful in intercepting funds intended for 401Ks, ERISA or pension plans, 403Bs and other types of retirement accounts. They, however, can not be implemented to recover individual retirement account (IRA) funds.
In speaking with your family law attorney, you may even find that a QDRO already exists between between you and your spouse. If it does, then it likely was drafted to ensure that you'd receive your fair share of the benefits his retirement plan offers once your divorce was settled.
If your alimony must ultimately be collateralized though the use of a QDRO, then it will likely the form as a lien against your ex's retirement account. The amount that would be listed as being assigned to you in this case would be listed as a percentage of those benefits. You'd essentially retain what amounts to a security interest on any remaining balance in the account at the time the judge signed the QDRO.
When it comes to nonpayment of court-ordered support payments, using a QDRO to enforce a judge's orders can be an effective option that you may want to discuss with your Fort Myers alimony attorney.
Source: Forbes, "How to get your ex-husband to honor the financial terms of your divorce settlement," Jeff Landers, accessed May 11, 2018