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Divorce and Pensions in Oregon

My STBX and I have finally agreed to divorce. I've been the supporting/working spouse for 14 of the 20 yrs we've been together & still am. I have a pension plan & deferred comp. accounts through my employer. I have very little cash & he has no income. I'd like to do most of the divorce prep myself to save $ & have the paperwork reviewed by an attorney prior to filing. Apparently I need a QDRO to split the existing pension/def. comp amounts & request a lump sum distribution to the STBX when the divorce is granted. Must I have an attorney prepare that doc? Are there additional fees I need to be prepared to pay? We have a house w/both names on the deed & mortgage. He has agreed to let me keep the property in exchange for the lump sum distribution. Is a Quitclaim deed sufficient as it appears it could be, or am I missing something? There are no minor children and two old cars registered in both names & a small (

by Meggo141   3 Posts 
Posted on 12/11/2010 5:28 PM
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Thanks Jakesmom for your comments. I know I don't owe him anything, but unfortunately Oregon law sees the situation differently after 18 yrs of marriage. I am cash poor and can't afford to pay for a drawn out, contested divorce or (God forbid) spousal support! Bankruptcy isn't a viable option with the total debt as high as ours. I researched that option and chose to pay it off using Consumer Credit Counseling rather than going through a Chapter 13 process. I want to keep the house, which will again become my largest asset (assuming the market recovers someday.) He doesn't want to live in this area anyway. Nothing about this relationship has been fair for many years. If I can get clear by paying him to go away at least I don't have to continue supporting him. Besides I still have a few years to rebuild my funds before I retire. This isn't fair, but being right isn't going to get me out of this without costing me dearly either. I just want to dust him out of my life and go forward. I'm investigating low cost legal assistance as suggested by spaznskitz so it's possible my attitude will change as I learn more about my options under the law.
by Meggo141   3 Posts
Posted on 12/14/2010 8:50 PM
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Sorry, it's a pension not a 401k.  That does make it harder to get a net present value on but your benefits department can get it for you. 

The same math applies.  If the value of your pension and deferred compensation does not cover the negative equity in your house and other marital debts, then you shouldn't owe your stbx a thing.
by jakesmom   400 Posts
Posted on 12/14/2010 11:06 AM
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Sorry but I have to point this out.

 

He will LET YOU keep the house if you give him a big chunk of your 401k??  Umm, is the house upside down or not?

 

The house is a joint asset and the mortgage is a joint debt.  Why would you let him walk away from the marriage with a chunk of your retirement savings and leave you with all the debt?

If you take all off your assets (including 401k) and subtract all of your debts (including negative equity in the house), that is your total net equity.  Divide that number in half and that's about what you would owe him if he walks away from the house.  If it is a negative number, then that's what he would owe you for the privelege of walking away.

It sounds to me like he is hanging around making your life miserable so that you will give him money to go away.  That's not fair.  Bankruptcy and foreclosure may actually be the quickest way out of this mess for you.

by jakesmom   400 Posts
Posted on 12/14/2010 11:02 AM
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did you check these out yet?

http://www.osbar.org/public/ris/LowCostLegalHelp/Low-FeeClinics.html

a local law school might have a legal clinic you can attend...the numbers to call are on that link...

As far as the house, if he is willing to stay on the mortgage for a year or two and you work your ass off to get your credit to a point you CAN refi - that is something a court will allow...but if after that point you still can't get a loan in your name, he can force you to sell...

check with your plan provider about the QDRO - with luck they can help you...if not let me know and I'll se what options for that I can come up with if the legal clinics can't accomodate you on it.
by spaznskitz   11339 Posts
Posted on 12/11/2010 9:58 PM
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OK - spaznskitz, What you're saying makes good sense. Like everybody else I've got problems tho': my credit is tanked and I can't refi - already tried and no one will touch me (debt to income ratio is so poor it's laughable), and although I am working, I make too much to qualify for low cost representation and I don't make enough to pay the $225/hr a knowledgeable attorney is going for in this area. No relatives/friends in a position to lend me the $. We looked @ selling the house, but we'd both walk away owing $ since the bubble burst. Unfortunately with the level of debt we've accrued a Chap. 13 is the best I can hope for & I'm already paying Consumer Credit as an alternative. Are you aware of any options I might investigate in my area (PDX metro)? Continuing to share the space with the STBX is not a viable option, but he's unemployed in a dead market and I can't afford to pay him support or finance a separate space. At this point I no longer wish to be financially responsible for him at all but don't know how to avoid that without putting myself even deeper in the proverbial hole.  
Thanks muchly for any ideas you may have.
by Meggo141   3 Posts
Posted on 12/11/2010 9:25 PM
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Talk to whomever your benefits are through - some have the ability to prep a QDRO for you - it's going to be very general though - you'd be better off having an attorney (or paralegal) draft the documents for you...and you need to make it very specific that the lump sum is in agreement for the house...

no on only the quit claim because that won't get him off the mortgage - you will need to refinance in your name only AND he will sign the quit claim off the deed. There will be an expense there...

then there are your filing fees...

Beware - he has the right and ability to change his mind and come after you for spousal support...if I were you just to ensure you are well protected I'd have an attorney do your paperwork for you - I realize it is an expense - but consider it an investment into a secure future....
by spaznskitz   11339 Posts
Posted on 12/11/2010 7:56 PM
3





Not only will you need an attorney to prepare the QDRO, but you will need one who knows what s/he is doing.  It is a very specialized document and one error will lead to having to have it redone. 

A quit claim should be sufficient for removing hs name from the house, but make sure the terms are well spelled out in the divorce decree so he cannot come back at a later point in time asking for more.
by Iam   7120 Posts
Posted on 12/11/2010 7:53 PM
1







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