QDRO'S-Qualified Domestic Relations Orders
Qualified Domestic Relations Orders-Dividing a Retirement Plan
When couples going through a divorce have retirement accounts, pensions, IRA's or other qualifying retirement benefits or employment packages, A QDRO or qualified Domestic Relations Order may be necessary. A QDRO is a legal Court order that directs a retirement plan administrator to divide a party's plan according to the order. The Court order is typically prepared after the Divorce is finalized and accoringthe Judgment of the court or the agreement of the parties to the divorce. Many Financial companies have QDRO's online as part of their client services. This streamlines the cost and time the process take to get the order signed by the court to divide the assets.
Most plans require basic information to be included in the court orders:
- Name of the parties
- Case information
- The amount or percentage of the plan, how it will be divided, and when
- Whether or not the employee spouse has reached the age of retirement
QDRO'S-Getting it Done
After your divorce is finalized, you will need certain documentation to obtain the proper QDRO for your plan. As mentioned before, many companies already have a form couples can use by going online and filling them out online. Our firm can assist with these online forms. Similarly, if the company does not offer an online version for its customers, you will require the assistance of a QDRO attorney, who specializes in QDRO preparation. These are counsel that only prepare QDRO's for retirement accounts, pensions, We can assist in finding appropriate QDRO counsel, whether you need a QDRO in Beverly Hills or a QDRO in Los Angeles.
QDRO-Steps in Court to Obtain a Qualified Domestic Relations Order
Once you have selected a QDRO attorney to draft and obtain the QDRO, you must begin the process to have it prepared for submission to the court. Your QDRO attorney will begin the process after they receive the Divorce Judgment, Retirement Plan information and any other information necessary to prepare the court paperwork. Once this information is received, the following will occur:
- QDRO counsel will join the Retirement plan as a party to the Divorce
- Draft a Copy of the QDRO for the parties, family counsel and Plan Administrator to review
- Obtain signatures and approval of the QDRO from the parties and the Plan Administrator
- Submit the QDRO for approval by the Court
- Serve a copy of the Qualified Domestic Relations Order on the Plan to make payment according to the order
It is important to hire experienced QDRO counsel to divide retirement accounts accurately. Our firm assists clients by reviewing Divorce settlements and Judgments in order to select the appropriate QDRO lawyer to draft the order. Additionally, family law counsel can help review proposed QDRO's to make sure they reflect the terms of the Divorce decree to the letter.