How to Collect From a 401k
Most 401k’s are protected from creditors, but there are exceptions. Find out how you can claim money from your ex’s 401k.
If an obligor is behind on child support, their arrears can be garnished from wages, liens can be placed on property, and funds can be seized from bank accounts. But what about 401k’s?
Sadly, creditors can’t touch most 401k’s. Their funds are safe because as long as they aren’t removed from the 401k, they still belong to the plan administrator, usually the employer.
However, an obligor can also be court-ordered to pull funds from a 401k to pay for their arrears. Individual 401k accounts don’t have the same federal protections because they don’t have the same compliance requirements.
An Individual Retirement Account, or IRA, is not held to the same regulations as employer sponsored 401k’s or other qualified retirement savings accounts under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). When it comes to IRAs, some states protect these accounts from garnishment of any kind. Most states, however, have a change of heart when the account owner owes child support.
If you were married, you can file a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to obtain child support. A QDRO gives a former spouse the right to half of a 401k or retirement account. Normally they are filed during a divorce, but they can also be filed afterward to claim child support arrears owed to you.
Some dads evade their child support obligations, yet they have thousands of dollars in bank accounts that you can’t touch. What to place a lien on that account and have that money turned over to you? Take action. Many moms don’t realize that they are entitled to collect their past-due child support by placing liens and seizing assets that belong to their ex.
Are your complaints to child support enforcement not being heard? At Athena, we’re in the business of helping moms collect the money that is owed to them. We’ve taken on dads like this for 20 years. By providing us with some information and the proper legal documentation, Athena will get to work for you.
No Judgment on hand yet? No Problem. We help you with that too. Whether you come to us with all the information or just a little, Athena can help.