QDROs (pronounced “quadro”) sounds like a cool sounding name for a new car. In reality though, it’s your ticket to getting your fair share of your spouse’s retirement benefits once your divorce is final.
QDRO at a Glance
Standing for Qualified Domestic Relations Order, a QDRO is a legal document that directs the administrator of your spouse’s retirement or pension plan to give you a portion of the monies once the divorce is final.
While QDROs are not required for division of all types of retirement or pension plans, they are needed for:
- 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans
- Profit-sharing plans
- Employee Stock ownership
- Tax-sheltered annuities
Exceptions are IRAs, government (federal, state, county and city) retirement plans and deferred annuities
QDROs are Not One-Size-Fits-All
The rules that govern QDROs are fluid, meaning that they are nearly always changing. Each QDRO is unique in that it needs to be drafted in such a way that it satisfies the specific legal details of your divorce and your retirement plans.
How You Receive Your Money
Again, because specific retirement and pension plans vary, so too will the method in how you receive your money. For example, funds from plans that permit lump-sum payments can be delivered that way or rolled over into an IRA or other similar plans like a 401(k).
If the plan allows for monthly installments only, that’s how your awarded money will be delivered.
What is Divided
In most states, courts will divide all assets and debts as evenly as possible among the two parties – regardless of the actual reasons for the divorce. That includes the home, automobiles, savings and retirement accounts, credit card debt, mortgages, etc.
In short, if you bought it while the two of you were married, it is subject to being divided. Property that was owned before the marriage is not subject to division.
Keep in mind that you and your spouse do have the option of agreeing how the two of you would rather have items divided.
Need Advice About How Your Assets Can Be Divided? Men’s Legal Center Is Here To Help You
As you can tell from reading our blogs, there’s lots of decision making going on in just about every divorce proceeding. Because your chances for a positive outcome in your divorce increase dramatically when you retain the services of an attorney skilled in family and divorce law, we are more than happy to talk with you about the best way to proceed in your situation.
We welcome you to contact the Men’s Legal Center in San Diego today at (619) 234-3838.