Why Was I Asked To Provide My 401k Value At My Hearing?

divorce lawyer Andrew LaufersQuestion:

I recently lost my job and filed motions to modify alimony and child support. My ex-wife’s divorce attorney sent me a notice to produce at the hearing a statement showing the value of my 401k.

Why would her lawyer want to know the current value? Can she go after that in some way? I owe her thousands of dollars in attorney fees so is that it?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Minnesota divorce and child support laws where I am licensed to practice.

In most states, property settlements are final at the conclusion of the divorce. However, if you owe attorney fees to your ex she may be seeking to obtain a judgment against you for the unpaid attorney fees.

Alternatively, if a judgment has already been entered against you she may be looking for an idea of what assets she might be able to pursue to collect on her judgment.

Generally, in most states, a 401k is exempt from execution, which is a legal term that refers to collecting on a judgment from an asset. However, most attorneys will want to know a full picture of assets if they are going to attempt to either obtain a judgment or collect on a judgment.

She may be also seeing what ability you have to pay maintenance and support. Maintenance is a legal term for alimony. A full picture of assets is necessary to evaluate a motion to modify spousal maintenance and child support.

A divorce attorney opposing a child support and maintenance modification motion almost always tries to find out what the obligor spouse – the spouse paying maintenance and support – owns because it can set up some legal defenses to the child support and maintenance modification motion.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Minnesota Divorce Lawyer Andrew J. Laufers, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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