What Is a QDRO?

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If you are getting divorced, there are many considerations you’ll need to make to ensure the dissolution of your marriage is as smooth as possible. One thing you may not have considered is whether or not you or your spouse are entitled to a QDRO or qualified domestic relation order. This document is essential to ensuring the seamless transition of assets during a divorce. If you’re going through a divorce, a Hackensack, New Jersey divorce lawyer can help ensure you are fully aware of the QRDO process, its benefits, and its disadvantages.

How Does a QRDO Work?

A QDRO is a document that requires an amount of a participant’s retirement plan goes to another person. Generally, this is used to ensure a spouse receives alimony or child support. This is due to the fact that the entity responsible for the retirement plan, usually the company a spouse works for, is not allowed to split the funds in instances of divorce.

Instead, a QDRO outlines the amount an ex-spouse should receive. Generally, it will split the assets in half to ensure both parties receive equal compensation for the money they’ve accumulated and contributed to the marriage.

Is a QDRO Required by Courts?

This order is not required by courts. This means it is up to the couple to decide whether or not they need a QDRO.

A QDRO is drafted by the receiving party’s lawyer, signed by both parties, examined by a retirement plan administrator, and submitted to the court upon approval. However, if you are representing yourself during the divorce, it is your duty to ensure you inform the court about your retirement benefits. It is easier and more efficient to enlist the help of a lawyer and submit a QDRO, however.

If your spouse is not cooperating and signing the document, they could face consequences, including contempt of court. You have options, as you can file a motion to have the court clerk sign the QDRO if your spouse refuses to.

What Are the Requirements?

In order to file a valid QDRO, there are several steps you must take in order to get the document approved. This can be extremely in-depth and taxing, so having an attorney help is recommended. The following information is required:

  • The name and address of the participant and payee
  • The name of the plan
  • The percentage or amount to be paid to the payee
  • The number of payments

A QDRO is a challenging concept to understand. Whether you’re the payee or the participant, ensuring you have the help of a lawyer is essential to ensure you get the compensation you deserve during your divorce. Reach out to HD Family Law today to receive the guidance of a seasoned lawyer.

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