When you are working hard to raise your child, but the other parent fails or refuses to comply with his or her obligations for child support, it is easy to feel like your options are limited. You may begin to believe that once he or she has missed an ordered payment, your child will never see that money, no matter what type collection activities are pursued. The state of Illinois, however, takes child support orders very seriously, and if your child’s other parent is in arrears on support, a court may order the arrearage to be paid out of a retirement account by utilizing a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO.
What is a QDRO?
Most retirement plans or investments, such as 401(k) accounts, and others, are set up to pay out to the owner of the account, or, in the event of his or her death, named beneficiaries. In divorce and other situations, though, the funds held by the plan may need to be paid out to other individuals as well—most commonly an ex-spouse as part of a divorce settlement. The directions for such “customized” disbursement are recorded by the court in a QDRO, which the plan administrator must follow in accordance with other laws and the terms of the plan itself. The QRDO lists alternate payees to whom disbursements are to be made, in what amount or percentages, and under what circumstances.
Child Support Arrearages
Previously-owed but unpaid child support never really goes away. The state will continue to calculate the arrearages owed, ultimately amounting to quite a substantial sum if it continues to accrue over time. Working closely with an experienced lawyer, you may be able to convince the court to draft a QDRO naming you or your child as an alternate payee on the other parent’s retirement plan, allowing your child to get the support he or she deserves.
Unlike other disbursements from a retirement plan, those ordered to satisfy child support obligations can be made immediately, in most cases. You and your child will not need to wait until the other parent reaches retirement age before funds can be paid out. The other parent cannot receive disbursements until then, but you and your child are often able to.
Call Us Today
For more information about pursuing back payment of owed child support, contact an experienced Orland Park family law attorney. At Kezy & Associates, we are prepared to work with you every step of the way. We will help you fully understand your available options and make appropriate decisions on how to best help your child get the support he or she deserves.