Divorce is difficult. Infighting and legal complications often result when pensions and retirement accounts must be split. Handling qualified domestic relations order, QDRO, with Moon, Schwartz, & Madden can help make the process of splitting apart smoother with consideration for the interests of all parties.
What is QDRO?
Courts are heavily involved in a divorce. They must account for the incomes and capabilities of all parties to handle separated life. The result is a set of court orders.
A QDRO is an order relating to hard-fought retirement accounts. In a trying time, these orders can create confusion. Different rules apply to different accounts. QDROs relate to 403(b) and 401k plans. The order appoints third-party access to benefits.
How does a QDRO apply to my spouse?
The spouse automatically forfeits a percentage of their retirement account to an alternate payee. These orders are legal and immediate.
This order impacts a spouse’s retirement. Lawyers are often needed to help facilitate the transfer.
Does a QDRO apply to survivor’s benefits?
These orders immediately release a specific percentage of a retirement account while they affected party is alive. However, they can also apply to survivor benefits.
The court can automatically declare a party as a designated survivor. This often happens when there is a mitigating circumstance, or the marriage lasted for a significant amount of time. An expectation that a marriage will last creates a legally recognized bond.
How do I get a QDRO?
The QDRO is involved in the divorce process. If the court determines that retirement benefits are part of the proceedings, they often release this type of order. The document is drafted by the divorce attorney prior to issuance.
You must request this order as part of the proceedings. It is important to have a lawyer that is willing to fight for you without creating further division. Remember that a divorce proceeding impacts the entire family. We can help you determine if a QDRO is appropriate.
When are retirement benefits included in divorce?
Retirement proceedings become part of divorce when a party requests that an account is considered in separation. Any joint payments or significant reliance on an ex-spouse can result in the court issuing a QDRO.
Courts are more reluctant to include retirement accounts or any assets when there are strong nuptials or both parties are secure in their finances. The goal is not retaliation.
Finding the right Third Party
Retirement accounts are difficult to handle. Years or decades of work went into building this nest egg. This instantly turns separation of accounts into a challenge.
Your third-party aid should be well-versed in divorce law, considering the hard work and interests of all parties. Only compassion can help in an already bitter situation.
Divorce Attorney who can Help with a QDRO
Moon, Schwartz, & Madden is a compassionate law firm that helps families separate as smoothly as possible. We can help you with a QDRO.
We offer help with retirement accounts for divorcing women and help protect hard-won assets. Get in touch with us today at (925) 258-7100.