Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO)
QDRO Attorney in Central Maryland
Pensions, 401Ks, and other retirement assets are among the most valuable marital property. Depending on your unique situation, your retirement assets, or those of your spouse, may need to be split or transferred following your divorce. To do this, most retirement plans require a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) or similar order to transfer the retirement assets from a plan participant to a former spouse.
QDROs are regulation-driven, highly technical documents requiring precise language. I have made retirement division the focus of my legal practice and I am committed to staying current regarding developments of this area of law.
When we meet, I will explain the process, gather the information I need, and draft an order. Many plans accept drafts for format review, and it is a good idea to seek the plan administrator’s opinion about whether the draft would be acceptable when it is signed by the parties and the judge. If changes are needed, it’s best to make them now so you can avoid having to amend the order and then resubmit it. You and your former spouse will have an opportunity to review the order before you both sign and I submit it to the court. The last step is to send the final order to the plan. After that, the plan administrator will usually contact the parties in 45-60 days regarding the transfer.
A smooth retirement transfer depends on several factors:
- The exact name of the plan. This sounds like a silly detail, but it’s crucial. If your QDRO purports to divide “Jones Company Retirement Savings Plan” but your QDRO addresses the “Jones Company 401k Plan,” your QDRO will be rejected.
- The language of your marital settlement agreement or the Judgment of Divorce. If the details of the transfer – or the alternate payee’s right to a survivor benefit – are unclear, it will be difficult to draft the QDRO.
- Cooperation. The retirement division in your case is determined by your agreement or Judgment. Still, one party or the other may refuse to provide information needed for the QDRO or may refuse to sign. These are not necessarily insurmountable obstacles, but they do make the process longer and more expensive.
Experienced QDRO Preparation in Frederick, MD, & Beyond
Contact us to arrange a consultation. We’ll discuss the particulars of your specific situation.