What IS a QDRO?
A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (“QDRO”) is a Court Order that divides an employer-sponsored retirement plan pursuant to divorce or legal separation. An Eligible Domestic Relations Order (“EDRO”) is a Court Order that divides any municipal pension. There are various different kinds of Domestic Relations Orders; QDROExpress will draft the specific Court Order that fits your situation.
What is QDROExpress’s role?
QDROExpress will prepare the draft Domestic Relations Order(s) based on the Judgment of Divorce and send them to the attorney(s) of the parties who paid our drafting fee unless the Judgment of Divorce specifies otherwise. If QDROExpress receives payment from both sides, we will communicate openly and share information with both attorneys.
Why does QDROExpress require an attorney?
QDROExpress requires that at least one of the parties is represented for our part of the QDRO process. The attorneys at QDROExpress are QDRO drafters only and do not represent parties. An attorney is needed to help the parties with any motions or subpoenas that may be needed, negotiate any disputes, obtain signatures, and enter the QDRO with the Court.
Why do I need a QDRO?
Your Judgment of Divorce has specified that you or your ex-spouse is to receive a portion of the other’s retirement plan. The QDRO will effectuate the transfer. One of the things achieved by the QDRO is to shift the tax responsibility for the amount transferred.
When will I receive my distribution if a defined contribution plan is being divided?
While QDROExpress is not part of the distribution process, typically the Alternate Payee will receive their distribution from a 401(k), 403(b), or 457(b) or other defined contribution plan within 30 to 90 days of the plan receiving and approving the QDRO. Once the QDRO has been received and approved by the plan, the plan administrator or their representative will correspond with the Alternate Payee regarding the next steps.
When can I start collecting my half of my ex-spouse’s defined benefit pension?
The QDRO will specify the possible time of commencement of benefits based on Pension Plan provisions and the terms in your Judgment of Divorce. Once the pension QDRO has been received and approved, the plan administrator or their representative will correspond with you.
If you have any questions about this process, or would like additional information about our services, please contact our office.