We all have areas of cases that we either do not have the requisite knowledge or time to handle in the proper manner. That’s where Kuehne & Foote is here to help. We have a history of partnering with attorneys to handle particular portions of community property and estate divisions, including but not limited to, complex financial calculations and QDROs. We’ll provide as much or as little assistance as you need to help you get your case back on track toward resolution.
Remember, we’re here to help! Call us when…
Child Support & Spousal Support
…Your client is owed back child support or spousal support and the payor has a 401k and/or Pension. Kuehne & Foote is experienced in preparing child support QDROs to collect child support arrears. Additionally, we collect our fees at the end of the transaction when the funds are received by the client.
…Your client has trouble collecting child support or spousal support timely, but the payor rarely gets more than 2 to 3 months behind. If the payor has a 401k, Kuehne & Foote can issue a QDRO lien that functions much like a restraining order in case a future arrearage action is necessary. Additionally, it provides a ready-made payment of attorney fees because federal courts have held that attorney fees are part and parcel of child support collection.
…Your client wants to verify the benefits of being allocated the child dependency deduction for tax purposes, but your client does not wish to pay the significant fees associated with hiring a current CPA. Kuehne & Foote has a former CPA who can provide the necessary sample tax returns with alternative calculations with and without the deduction. This can be done with a much quicker response than a busy CPA in private practice and for a much more reasonable cost.
…Your client is the participant in a pension plan and is significantly younger than the ex spouse. Remember, the present day valuation of the pension plan varies depending on whose life span is being analyzed. It may not be in your client’s best interest to do a QDRO.
…You just had a consultation with a client whose community property is of a substantial size, but the client does not have access to any immediate funds sufficient to pay your retainer. Kuehne & Foote can provide two types of relief in this situation:
- We can prepare an interim 401k QDRO pursuant to La. R.S 9:374E to obtain the necessary funds to both attorney fees and living expenses.
- We can be referred the entire case because we often handle sizable community property cases on a deferred payment program for certain types of qualified cases.
…You have obtained a verbal agreement as to all community property issues, but your client warns that the ex spouse is not trustworthy in refinancing the house, paying off the credit card or any of the other title transfers that need to take place after the agreement is signed. Through the use of a QDRO liens, Kuehne & Foote may be the only firm in South Louisiana with the experience necessary to place a formal liens on participant’s retirement plan until all post settlement obligations have been completed.
…Your client is a teacher or state employee who does not pay into social security. Kuehne & Foote is one of the few firms in the Baton Rouge area who has obtained a judicial decreed social security offset award of $30,000.
…Your client was a stay-at-home spouse for an extended portion of a lengthy marriage. You suspect that you should make a social security offset claim, but are not sure of the potential value in comparison to the potential costs of hiring an expert. The in-house accountants at Kuehne & Foote can provide estimated calculations with various assumptions at a reasonable rate prior to having to put the claim in the detailed descriptive list.
…The opposing party is making a social security offset claim and you are not familiar with the arguments against such a claim.
…Your client inherited substantial funds at various times during the marriage and in various amounts. Kuehne & Foote has had great success in tracing inheritance funds throughout the marriage in order to establish large reimbursement claims.
…Your client and/or the opposing party is about to file bankruptcy or has already filed bankruptcy prior to the completion of the community property settlement. Kuehne & Foote is the one of the few, if not the only, Baton Rouge law firm that has both an experienced bankruptcy attorney and a family law attorney board certified by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization.
…You enjoy handling custody & support cases, but your office is not set up to handle complex community property cases with boxes of documentation. Kuehne & Foote often co-counsels with local attorneys who remain as lead counsel for the custody & support cases while allowing Kuehne & Foote, with its five-person community property staff, to handle the brunt of the documentation collection and processing.
…You and the opposing attorney are close to a final property settlement with the only issue being the best method of making the substantial equalizing payment. The parties have IRAs, 401ks and real estate and are arguing which assets should be used to make the equalizing payment. With its substantial experience in ERISA rules and retirement plan division, Kuehne & Foote can assist in evaluating the best tax and/or economic method to pay equalizing payments.
…Your client and the opposing party are extremely cooperative. Unfortunately, they have substantial debt and their major assets consist of retirement accounts. Your client commented that she plans to liquidate her portion of the 401k to pay off debt and put down a down payment on a small home. You are not quite sure about the liquidation rules of 401k and cannot properly advise her whether this is a good idea. Although Kuehne & Foote not a financial advisory firm, our attorneys do have a substantial knowledge regarding all aspects of 401k division under ERISA, and can provide valuable guidance on the best method whereby cooperative parties can jointly maximize their funds.
…The opposing party works for the federal government, state government or military and has been or will be awarded lifetime health insurance as a part of the retirement benefits (which your client will not be getting). You may wish to file a claim for a health insurance subsidy claim. There is no jurisprudence in Louisiana on this claim, but it has been approved by the Supreme Courts of other states and Kuehne & Foote is trying to initiate the claim in Louisiana.
…Your client had a premarital balance in a 401k and wants to be credited for the growth of that premarital balance during the marriage. Kuehne & Foote has two in-house accountants who are able to trace individual stock transactions over many years.
…Your client is the spouse of a military member and the marriage lasted less than 10 years. The military will not approve a retirement division order for a marriage lasting less than ten years. How does your client collect any value for that portion of the military pension?
…Your client is the former spouse of a military member who has recently remarried. Since military pension division orders only allow ONE surviving spouse, you are unsure how to protect your client’s interest in the survivor benefits.
…Your client is the former spouse of a military member who receives much of his military pension through disability. Since the Department of Defense does not pay disability payments to former spouses, you are unsure how to divide this portion of the community property. Kuehne & Foote has substantial experience in preparing offset claims pursuant to La. R.S. 9:2801.1 whereby the former spouse can be adequately compensated in other ways.
…Your client is the former spouse of a military member, but you are unfamiliar with the health insurance benefits collected to the military. You do not want to refer the entire case to another law firm, but just need brief consultation on very specific topics. Kuehne & Foote is happy to act as a short term consultant for a reasonable price. Furthermore, attorney Marcus Foote is always willing to receive individual phone calls or email from attorneys just looking for a little information.
…Your client is the spouse of a railroad employee and you fear that your client will not be fairly compensated for the Tier I portion of the Railroad Retirement Board Pension.
…You are familiar with handling all aspect of a community property case except for the preparation of 401k & Pension Division Orders (QDROs). Kuehne & Foote has a databank of over 375 plans and has prepared nearly 1,000 QDROs in that last ten years.
…Your client reported to you that the participant of a 401k and/or Pension Plan unexpectedly died prior to the execution of a QDRO which was needed to protect his/her interests. The Plan indicates that they must pay the named beneficiary who is not your client. There are two options that your client may have to receive compensation. Kuehne & Foote has experience in evaluating those options.
…Your client has been divorced for many years, but did not execute a community property settlement at the time. The 401k plan now states that its records do not go back far enough for the attorneys to use the termination date of the community as the beginning of the 401k division calculations.
…Your client has been divorced for five years, but the 401k or IRA Plan Administrator tells you that it does not do gain/loss calculations. It will only approve a QDRO with a specific amount to divide as of the present date. You are now faced with having to do five years of growth calculations or risk your client losing substantial appreciation of his/her portion of the account. Kuehne & Foote has a finance staff that is well-qualified in preparing such calculations for a time period of five years or more.
…Your client’s 401k has a substantial after tax portion and your client wants to keep as much of that portion of the 401k as possible, but you do not know how to word the QDRO to allocate portions of the 401k in different amounts. Attorney Marcus Foote is a board certified family law specialist who has prepared dozens of QDROs with these type of varying allocations.
…Your client or the opposing party works for the state, went through the DROP program, but then continued working for the state. You are unsure how the marital portion calculations should include the additional post-DROP service credits.
…Your client divorced in 2012 and the opposing party received a substantial severance package in 2014 when he retired at age 62. You are unsure whether your client is due any portion of that severance pay. Kuehne & Foote has performed substantial research outlining both sides of this issue and can assist in evaluating the strength of your client’s claim.
…Your client needs a special needs trust.