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The QDRO Process From Start to Finish

By |2020-04-25T08:55:42-07:00April 24th, 2020|Family Law|

What is a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO), and how do you know if you need one? If you need to divide property in a retirement or pension plan after a divorce, you will need a QDRO. Read on to learn more about the QDRO process from start to finish, and how A People's Choice can help.

Online QDRO Preparation – What You Need to Know

By |2019-11-03T14:44:25-08:00November 3rd, 2019|Family Law|

Don't settle for just any online QDRO preparation service. Did you know that most online QDRO services only prepare the forms? In other words, they do not provide the additional services you will require to actually complete the QDRO process. Remember, the actual division of the retirement account is only complete once a QDRO has been prepared, pre-approved by the Plan Administrator, signed by the parties, signed by the Judge, filed in the court case and a certified copy provided to the Plan.

When Your Ex Spouse Won’t Sign QDRO

By |2019-07-08T12:29:54-07:00July 4th, 2019|Family Law|

Divorced spouses often contact us with concerns that their ex-spouse won’t sign QDRO, a qualified domestic relations order. The courts use QDROs (pronounced "quaw-dro") to officially divide a former spouse's interest in a retirement plan or pension plan. If your spouse won't sign QDRO, then you will not be able to complete the process of dividing the retirement account . However, the spouse refusing to sign could find themselves held in contempt of court for refusing to do so. This article reviews options you may have if your ex-spouse is refusing to sign your QDRO.

How to Use a QDRO to Divide Retirement in Divorce

By |2019-05-12T08:22:48-07:00December 30th, 2018|Family Law|

Contributions made to retirement and pension plans during a marriage are community property. During a divorce, couples divide retirement and pensions plans just like any other marital asset. The couple may split them any way they see fit, whether it be that one spouse completely buys the other one out of their share, or one spouse receives a percentage or fixed amount of the retirement payments. It is necessary to prepare a QDRO for each plan that is divided.

How to File a QDRO After Divorce

By |2018-05-01T02:35:44-07:00March 30th, 2018|Family Law|

It is not necessary to divide all retirements plans in a divorce. However, if the court has ordered the division of a retirement account, or the parties have agreed to divide one or more retirement account, it will be necessary to file a QDRO after divorce. Here are the steps on how to file a QDRO after divorce.

Gilmore Rights and Your California QDRO

By |2018-01-18T15:46:22-08:00March 31st, 2017|Family Law|

Gilmore rights allow a divorcing spouse to receive a share of community interest held in their spouse’s pension plan. Specifically, this means the spouse can choose to receive these benefits before the participant actually retires. Benefits become eligible at the earliest date in which the employee spouse would be eligible to retire. To enforce your [...]

QDRO Wording, Terms and Definitions

By |2018-01-18T15:46:58-08:00April 15th, 2016|Family Law|

Words… there are many in the English language. Add a layer of “legalese” in the mix and often reading and understanding legal documents seems like you are reading a foreign language. This list of QDRO wording, terms and definitions will help you understand common terms used in QDRO matters. What is a QDRO? The acronym QDRO, [...]

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By |2018-01-19T17:24:02-08:00April 16th, 2014|

Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDROs) A QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) is a special type of court order that allows the division of retirement plan benefits between parties in a dissolution or legal separation. A QDRO (pronounced “quad row”) is a specific type of order that recognizes the right of an “alternate payee” [...]

What is Community Property in California?

By |2020-06-14T10:37:20-07:00June 14th, 2020|Divorce|

Fear of the financial hardships brought on by divorce is one of the factors that makes people stay in unhappy marriages until they become certain that divorce is the only option. Every couple that gets a divorce must divide their community property, and not all states have the same rules about how to divide a couple’s property in a divorce. California is a community property state, which means that each spouse gets an equal share of the net value of the couple’s community property in California. You do not need a lawyer to fight for your fair share of the community property in California. By law, you are already entitled to half of it. Therefore, unless you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement about some other issue, such as child custody, there is a good chance that you can finish your divorce without a lawyer. All you need is a registered legal document assistant to prepare your divorce documents.

How To Collect Child Support Arrears

By |2020-05-27T09:58:47-07:00May 27th, 2020|Family Law|

Collecting child support arrears, or child support owed to you, is often a complicated and lengthy process. Thankfully, you have several options available to help you. For example, the Department of Child Support Services is available in the state of California. However, for a faster option, consider working with a registered legal document assistant like A People's Choice.

Dividing Retirement Accounts in Divorce – California

By |2020-04-25T08:56:59-07:00April 24th, 2020|Family Law|

Believe it or not, retirement benefits are the most valued assets during a divorce. In fact, sometimes a retirement benefit is worth more than a home! As a result, calculating retirement benefits is a very important part of dividing community property. Read on to learn how retirement assets are usually calculated and how A People's Choice can help.

Paralegal vs Legal Document Assistant – Which One Do I Need?

By |2020-04-03T16:42:10-07:00April 4th, 2020|Legal Document Assistants, Miscellaneous|

What is a legal document assistant and how does it compare to a paralegal? Believe it or not, hiring a legal document assistant can help you save thousands of dollars you would otherwise waste on an attorney! To help you determine which process is better for you, we've outlined from A to Z everything a legal document assistant can do.

What is a Joinder?   

By |2020-06-05T10:12:09-07:00July 6th, 2019|Civil litigation, Family Law|

Legal proceedings can be a complicated process. Sometimes, unexpected people and parties have an interest in the legal process. When this is the case, you must add them to the legal proceedings before you can fully resolve the case. You will use a joinder to do this. So what is a Joinder, and how does it affect a legal matter?

Steps to Divide Retirement in Divorce

By |2019-07-06T18:56:13-07:00July 6th, 2019|Family Law|

Most couples think their most valuable community property asset is their house. Surprisingly, however, the most valuable asset is often their retirement plan. Just as with other community assets, a divorcing couple must settle retirement division. In general, the law considers retirement benefits accrued during the marriage until the time of separation as community property. This article will explain the steps to divide retirement in divorce.

Reasons to File a Joinder in a Divorce

By |2019-05-12T08:21:26-07:00December 30th, 2018|Family Law|

In a pending case, either party can request that a third-party join the case, which is known as a joinder. In a divorce proceeding, California allows a party to file a joinder in divorce if a third-party is in possession of community property assets. Contributions made to retirement and pension plans during the marriage are community property assets in California and need to be divided like any other asset during the divorce proceeding. Keep in mind that most retirement plans do not require a joinder. However, some plans, such as California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and other city and county government plans, require that the plan to formally joined to the divorce proceeding before the plan can be divided. With this in mind, it may be wise to file a joinder in divorce even if the plan does not require it.

I received a Notice of Entry of Judgment. Is my case over?

By |2018-06-17T17:49:08-07:00December 3rd, 2017||

If you received a Notice of Entry of Judgment, this usually means that the court has approved and entered a Judgment in your case. If you and your spouse signed a Marital Settlement Agreement, the Judgment will have that agreement attached which has now become a court order. Take a look at the Notice of [...]

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Thrift Savings Plan Retirement Division in Divorce

By |2018-01-18T15:46:18-08:00April 29th, 2017|Family Law|

A Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement system and plan for federal employees, military personnel and reservists. Congress established the plan in 1986. The federal TSP is a defined contribution plan. This means the amount of money a plan participant receives from the plan depends on how much he/she contributed throughout his/her working years. The [...]

Joinder of Retirement Plan in Divorce

By |2018-01-18T15:46:49-08:00June 23rd, 2016|Family Law|

Most retirement plans or pensions can be divided in a California divorce. In particular, California courts split retirement plans and pensions between divorcing spouses similar to how other property is divided (50/50). In this case, retirement plans require an additional process, commonly referred to as the joinder of retirement plan, in order for a retirement [...]

CALPERS Pension Retirement Division in Divorce

By |2018-01-18T15:46:53-08:00May 27th, 2016|Family Law|

The California Public Employees Retirement System (CALPERS) provides lifetime monetary benefits to employees and their spouses. If you have filed for divorce, you may be wondering how you or your spouse’s CALPERS pension may be affected. Depending on your marital settlement agreement, you may receive up to half of your spouse's CALPERS retirement. Below is [...]