Qualified Domestic Relations Orders ("QDRO's") are federally mandated Orders which are needed at the end of a Family Court dissolution or divorce to accomplish the division between divorcing parties of various retirement and pension plans which were accrued during the marriage. QDRO's can also, in certain less usual circumstances, pay for alimony and child support.
These Orders do more than just divide up these retirement plans. QDRO's allocate the potential tax impact at the time of division or thereafter between the parties so neither pays an unfair share of such taxes. QDRO's can also provide for ongoing benefits in the event of the death of one or the other parties and for allocation of growth in the plan as it may occur.
There are many kinds of QDRO's and some have different names. The generic name, QDRO, is used for all of them in this document. QDRO's, or their equivalent, can divide Individual Retirement Accounts, 401(K)'s, Thrift Savings Plans, Individual Retirement Plans, private pension plans, Civil Service pension plans, state and other government retirement plans, military retirements, and railroad retirements. Because of all of the possible variations, QDRO's require the assistance of an experienced attorney and staff (as opposed to a financial planner, accountant, other non-lawyer, or an inexperienced attorney) to draft them. Each plan has an "Administrator" with whom we work directly (with minor exceptions) to obtain pre-approval of the Order we draft for you, so when a QDRO is ready to be signed by a judge, there normally are few problems or delays.