How do I get my share of a 401k?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How do I get my share of a 401k?

My wife sent me an uncontested papers. I took all responsibility and file bankrupt. I

contested for half the 401k. How do I handle this? Otherwise I won’t contest the divorce.

Asked on June 22, 2016 under Family Law, Maryland


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If your divorce is not yet finalized, then you need to make sure your request for half of the 401k is presented to the judge at a final hearing.  If your wife will agree to give you half, then you need to make sure that the divorce decree reflects that you do get half.  Even after the decree (final order) is entered, then you will still need the judge to sign a qualified domestic relations order, also known as a QDRO.  This order tells the plan administrator what to do and when to disburse funds. 
If the divorce has already been finalized, then you will not be able to access the funds until you challenge the decree, get it undone, and have the judge reconsider your request for a share. 
Since you are limited on funds, contact the plan administrator for the 401k and see if they have an approved form that you can use.  Each administrator has a slightly different form they prefer.... so using their form will be a positive.  You can also reach out to the local district clerk and bar association and see if they have names/numbers of any legal support programs to assist you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption