If you need a QDRO after a divorce, you should hire someone with experience in preparing these documents. QDROs are usually custom pleadings, and not fill-in-the-blank court forms. Each Plan has its own requirements to divided the retirement plan benefits. As a result, QDROs for different types of Plans will vary. Fortunately, most Plans will provide written materials that outline their requirements. To make sure the QDRO accommodates the provisions of a specific plan, you should hire a legal document preparer or attorney that is familiar with QDRO preparation to help prepare the document.
The QDRO must identify the plan name, the name and most recent address of the alternate payee (divorcing spouse), the percentage or dollar amount due to the alternate payee, and the duration of the payments. Some Plans have pay-out options regarding the delivery of benefits to the alternate payee based on a specific set of circumstances. The QDRO will need to address all payout options available to the alternate payee.
Once the QDRO is complete, you must send it to the retirement’s Plan Administrator. The Plan Administrator reviews the order to make sure that the order complies with federal law and the procedures of the plan. Once the Plan Administrator checks the QDRO, he/she will either accept it or reject it. If the Plan Administrator denies the order, he/she will explain the reasons for the rejection so that you can make changes to the QDRO. Once the Plan Administrator accepts the QDRO, you can file the Order with the court. The Judge will review the QDRO and sign the order to enable the Plan Administrator to divide the account.
You can file a QDRO once the court accepts and approves the divorce settlement agreement. Although you can file a QDRO at any time after the court enters the divorce judgment, it is in the best interest of the alternative payee to file it as soon as possible. The alternate payee cannot receive payments until a QDRO is filed. If the primary payee has already begun receiving retirement payments, the alternate payee cannot receive retroactive payments, even if they would have been entitled to those payments.
If you need help preparing a QDRO, contact A People’s Choice. Our experienced staff has prepared thousands of QDROs and can help you with the task of preparing a QDRO to divide retirement in your divorce. Call us today at 800-747-2780.
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