What is a QDRO?

While many consider the value of their cars, homes, furniture and respective distribution of such during a divorce. There are many assets that are forgotten that can hold significant value as well. For instance, a retirement plan can contain hundreds of thousands of dollars accrued over the years of a spouse’s employment. However, in the distribution of a retirement plan the party must retain a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) from the court. Your Tallahassee Divorce Attorney will be able to walk you through the requirements of a QDRO and their benefits to your case.

A QDRO, simply, is an order from the court directing payments to you from your spouses’ retirement account. This order will outline the amount, the payments, the timeline of these payments whether lump sum or monthly. Most importantly, this order removes the tax consequences the are typically associated with removal of retirement account funds prior to retirement.

The QDRO will need to be completed by your spouse and note the name of the employer who holds the retirement account and the type of retirement account. For instance, if the account is a defined contribution, thrift savings plan or other designated plan this must be include. The court may also require the account number of these accounts for direct specificity. Further, the court requires the name and mailing address of the receiver, and the employed spouse. Finally, this order will specifically note the equation used to determine the proper amount awarded to the receiving spouse. This typically begins with the valuation date. For instance, the court will note the term of years the spouse was employed and retirement savings were being incurred and the length of marriage. They will then determine the overlap of time where there was money being placed into the retirement account during the time of marriage. That overlap is what the spouse is entitled to, and will most likely be awarded a 50% portion of this amount. After determining the exact amount due to the spouse, the court will direct the quantity and timeline of payments.

After completion of this document, you will present it before a judge to be signed. After careful review and signature by a judge, you will then provide this document to your employer who holds the account to order the distribution of these funds.

This QDRO can be a complicated process, however, is crucial to receiving the funds you are legally entitled to. To ensure you are protected, contact a Tallahassee Divorce Attorney today to provide you with an expert opinion and efficient manner on dealing with such delicate orders.

Speaking to an attorney at our Tallahassee office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at 850-307-5221 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.