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Getting spousal support from retirement benefits

Spousal support has been a topic of discussion throughout the years. When there is a divorce after a marriage that lasted for several years, either individual may ask for spousal support. Most of the time, the spouse who was earning the lower income is the recipient. However, some spouses who are awarded alimony may have a hard time getting their payments. Fortunately, Alaska residents may be able to collect spousal support from retirement benefits.

When spousal support is awarded, the payments can last for a certain time frame ordered by the court or even until death. As spouses reach retirement age, it may become more difficult to collect payments owed. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, ex-spouses who were ordered to pay spousal support often miss payments or pay nothing at all.

A qualified domestic relations order is an order that can help spouses get the payments they are owed. Judges can use them to require spouses to pay a certain amount of their retirement funds to their ex-spouses. A QDRO can be applied to a number of different funds, including 403(b)s, 401(k)s and other retirement accounts. There could be some tax implications regarding the QDRO, and payees could be subjected to income taxes.

Can individuals get a portion of their ex-spouse's retirement income for spousal support? The answer is yes, and they can also receive a portion of their ex-spouse's Social Security benefits as long as they were married for at least 10 years. Knowing how to go about this is key, and an experienced divorce attorney in Alaska can help spouses collect monies owed to them and answer any questions they have.

Source: about.com, "How to Get Spousal Support in Retirement", Melissa Phipps, March. 30, 2015

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