Spousal Maintenance and Retirement Accounts

Ideally, divorce should be rare. It should be a civil and calm procedure that allows people to maintain both their dignity and lifestyles while safeguarding the children’s emotional, mental, and physical health.

All too often, of course, the negative emotions coupled with divorce translate into a fierce battle of wills as spouses attempt to punish each other for their perceived sins and failures as a spouse. This attitude can extend beyond the divorce decree, as well, as a spouse facing a support order often attempts to avoid actually paying what the court has ordered them to pay. In these cases, you may need to continue to retain the services of one of our divorce attorneys in order to ensure that the court’s orders are followed.

IRAs and 401ks Fair Game

Recently, the courts in Colorado have given spouses fighting for their court-ordered support payments an additional weapon: The retirement accounts of the “deadbeat” spouse. When all other attempts to compel payment of overdue support have failed, the courts have shown a distinct willingness to allow retirement funds to be tapped in order to satisfy these overdue payments.

Of course, a court order must be obtained, and the request must follow all established rules of the court. Your divorce attorney can help you navigate Colorado’s laws in this area, crafting an effective request that can see your overdue support payments siphoned from the retirement accounts of your former spouse. And if you are attempting to withhold those payments, keep in mind the courts may allow access to your retirement accounts as well.

If you have a legitimate reason to object to the support order issued by the court, the proper way to handle it is to lodge a formal complaint and co through the proper channels.