In CA, spouse dies with divorce ‘status only’ judgment – what happens to retirement accounts

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In CA, spouse dies with divorce ‘status only’ judgment – what happens to retirement accounts

In CA, spouse dies, divorce is ‘status only’ judgment with no judgment for property division, no QDRO on file with courts – request for QDRO made in 2008 , now deceased spouse never acknowledged – is retirement available to me and what about my retirement — is it no longer an issue – Is the QDRO a necessity to access his retirement

Asked on June 18, 2009 under Family Law, California

Answers:

Robert Howell / Law Offices of Howell & Howell, APC

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

In order for a party to access retirement benefits, you must do a QDRO so that the court acquires jurisdiction over the company who holds the retirement account.  Without the QDRO, the court has no jurisdiction to make orders.

However, with the death of the party and the fact that status was taken and you are divorced,  you may now have to  proceed through the probate court, as the estate of the deceased will have to be distributed pursuant to his will or probate laws. 

I would contact a probate attorney to assist you.


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