Barnegat, NJ asked in Divorce for New Jersey

Q: Sons wife filed for divorce, finalized 10/29/2020. Unfortunately he 52 yo passed 3/2/21

She was ordered yo give him $$ from her 401k. When lawyer dispensed escrow $. He was to give to him then. He didn’t. Now he says she wants 3/21 pension share that she was normally receiving. $$ came a week after he passed and i put i to bank. Lawyer now not returning my calls, e-mails, etc.

What can I do. Please help

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3 Lawyer Answers
Michael Andrew Conte
Michael Andrew Conte
Answered
  • Princeton, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: I would reach out to an attorney who handles estates matters. I sounds like your son's estate probably has a claim against his former spouse for the funds that were supposed to be transferred to him pursuant to the divorce decree.

I don't understand the part of your question about the 3/21 pension share... It sounds like that has to do with an alimony obligation or something, if his ex-wife was not receiving a pension payment directly pursuant to a QDRO of your son's pension. I'm not sure if his estate would be liable to her for some portion of a payment that was never made prior to his death. Again, the right person to try to help you with this sort of thing would be a lawyer specializing in estates.

Richard Diamond
Richard Diamond
Answered
  • Millburn, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: In their divorce, your ex daughter in law had a pension that was to be divided between your son and her for equitable distribution. I gather that after the divorce occurred, the lawyers had a QDRO prepared ( order served on pension plan administrator ) with direction as to your sons share of the pension plan. If I read your question correctly, after receipt of one payment from the pension, your son passed away and then your ex daughter in law claimed that your son's estate was not entitled to your son's piece of the pension plan. Presuming my understanding is correct, the next question is whether the division provided for a joint and survivor pension distribution or whether the pension payments were based on your ex daughter in laws life alone. The best way to answer those questions is to schedule a consultation with a divorce lawyer with you bringing with you the divorce settlement agreement and the QDRO. Without those 2 documents ( and any other paperwork you may have about the pension plan), the lawyer will not be able to answer your question correctly.

Bari Weinberger
Bari Weinberger
Answered
  • Parsippany, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: Thank you for your question. Based upon the information given, you do not have a particularly complicated fact pattern. However, you do have a series of legal issues that may or may not be complex. In this sort of scenario, the first document that needs to be analyzed is the party's judgment of divorce with settlement agreement if the parties had a PSA as opposed to having the court render a decision. Unfortunately, without analyzing that document, there is not much advice I can give other than retain an attorney who is an experienced family law attorney immediately.

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