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A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is a tool used in divorce to give part or all of a retirement account to the spouse of the person who earned the money in that plan through their employment. These orders, signed by judges, provide the nonparticipant spouse (the spouse who did not earn the money in the plan) with an opportunity to get some retirement income and security by making payments from the plan earned by the participant spouse.
A common source of stress for people getting divorced is their future financial stability, especially if they are nearing retirement age. Our goal at Sunset Family Law is to reduce the stress you face by handling your QDRO issues for you.
Retirement accounts are considered to be marital property for the purpose of property division in a divorce. Either the spouses will negotiate what portion of the retirement account each party receives, or a judge will decide for them. In either case, an attorney will prepare a QDRO indicating the portion of the account the nonparticipant spouse will receive and direct whatever financial institution managing that account to make the payments. A judge signs the order to make it official.
However, not all retirement plans can be divided up with a QDRO. They cannot be used, for example, to divide IRAs, government or military pensions, deferred contribution plans or deferred annuities plans, among other types of unqualified plans.
When determining exactly how the policy will be divided, you also must consider issues such as the current and potential future value of the account, the tax implications associated with dividing the plan, when that plan should be divided (now or upon retirement) and survivorship benefits.
At Sunset Family Law, we only handle family law cases because we care about helping you secure your future and reducing the stress you face in the divorce process. For more information about how we can assist you with your QDRO issues, we encourage you to contact us today at email@example.com to schedule a consultation with our team.
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