The qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) process can be somewhat complex and confusing to most divorcing couples. At A People’s Choice, we can help you obtain a QDRO for the division of a retirement or pension plan based on the terms of your divorce decree. If you’re trying to understand the QDRO process from start to finish, read on to learn more. Then, we’ll show you how A People’s Choice can help!
What is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order?
A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) is a judicial order entered as part of a property division in a divorce or legal separation. Specifically, the QDRO divides retirement and pension plans such as 401(k), 403(b), and 457 as well as federal and state civil service plans and IRAs. Further, the QDRO formally recognizes an alternate payee’s right to receive, or assigns to an alternate payee the right to receive, all or a portion of the benefits payable with respect to a participant under a retirement plan.
California QDRO Process Step by Step
Step 1 – Gather Information
Before initiating the QDRO process, you need to gather information such as the plan name and administrator of the specific benefits you’re dividing. Then, you must complete your divorce decree to determine the amount of the retirement or pension plan you’re dividing. Note that you must enter a judgment in your California divorce proceedings prior to continuing with the process.
To prepare the QDRO, you will need to collect information about your former spouse and marriage. This information includes your spouse’s name, current address, social security number, date of marriage, date of separation, and date of final judgment of divorce. Additionally, you will need the exact name of the retirement plan as well as the name and address of the plan administrator. You may usually obtain this information from the employer of the participant spouse.
The plan administrator will usually have a package of information available that outlines their QDRO policies and procedures. Our glossary of QDRO terms will help you understand some of the unique words you come across during this process. If the plan administrator provides you with their plan package, you must provide this package to the legal professional assisting you in drafting the QDRO.
Step 2 – Draft the QDRO
Once you obtain the necessary information, it’s time to draft your QDRO as a stipulated order, assuming both parties have agreed to the manner in which the assets will be divided. Furthermore, the QDRO should be drafted in compliance with the procedures from the plan administrator. For help drafting the QDRO to meet these criteria, hire the help of a legal professional. Contact A People’s Choice for more information.
Step 3 – Obtain Spousal Approval
Once you have drafted the QDRO, ask for your former spouse’s approval of the drafted document. So long as the QDRO reflects the underlying provisions of the divorce decree, the former spouse, or their attorney, should provide approval.
However, you may avoid this optional step in the event the other party acts irrationally. In fact, your former spouse does not have to sign the QDRO at this point.
Step 4 – Obtain Plan Administrator Approval
Next, send a copy of the QDRO to the plan administrator for approval. Oftentimes, the plan administrator may request changes to the document.
Note that military and federal civil service pensions are not pre-approved by the plan administrator. Otherwise, QDRO pre-approval can ensure approval once the judge authorizes the order.
Step 5 – Have All Parties Sign the QDRO
After the plan administrator has pre-approved the QDRO, both parties should sign the document. Additionally, some plans require the plan administrator to also sign the final QDRO. Check with the plan administrator to determine the requirements of the plan.
Sometimes, a spouse may refuse to sign the QDRO. If this happens, don’t panic. You can file a motion with the court requesting an order for the court clerk to sign on behalf of the other party. Contact A People’s Choice if your spouse is refusing to sign a QDRO that you have prepared according to your judgment of dissolution.
Step 6 – Obtain Judge Approval
Once the plan administrator pre-approves your plan and all parties have signed the QDRO, you can submit the original document to the court for the judge’s approval. Note that you will need to file the QDRO with the court that has jurisdiction over the divorce. Then, the judge will review and sign the order and the court clerk will file and enter it in the court records.
Step 7 – Send a Certified Copy to the Plan Administrator
Finally, it’s time to send a certified copy of the QDRO to the plan administrator. Additionally, the plan may require other documentation to divide the plan. This might include a supplement containing personal information about both parties that is not filed with the court .
If you obtained pre-approval, the plan administrator will review and process the signed QDRO rather quickly. Then, once the retirement account has been divided, the plan administrator will set up a separate account for the alternate payee with their awarded portion of the account.
However, what if a party needs the cash now? Rather than rolling the fund over, if one party decides to take a cash distribution from their former spouse’s plan, the plan will withhold 20% of the awarded amount for federal income taxes. In this situation, the gross amount the party receives will be treated as income. However, they will be able to claim the amount the plan withholds on their federal income tax return when they file taxes the following year.
Need more help? Contact A People’s Choice for more information about each step in the QDRO process from start to finish, and how we can help you draft a QDRO.
My divorce was final in December 2021. The QDRO was drawn up and mailed to my ex-spouse on December 2021. The documents were sent to myself and my ex-spouse. He went into the hospital for several weeks and the papers could not be delivered. He came home for a week or so and didn’t have the ability to go out and get them signed and returned to my lawyer. He then went back into the hospital, during COVID restrictions, and died about a month later. He was never able to sign the papers. What can I do? Thank you.
Hello, You should speak with an attorney in regards to this matter.
I have 2 divorces that I never did QDRO on. Both divorces on have a percentage of what we get nor did we ever exchange our retirement account information or 401ks. What do I need to do to get this process rolling?
Call our office at 800-747-2780. We will send you a contact and upon hiring our office you will be directed to an online worksheet where you can provide all the specific details of your Judgment. Each account that you are dividing will require a QDRO.
I was divorced in 2016. Six years later, my ex-wife has finally filed a QRDO to receive her 50% of my 401k and pension plan. She says she is entitled to 50% of what these accounts are worth now. I reply that she is only entitled to the amount that was in these accounts on the official date of our divorce. Who is correct?
Hello Joseph, The split is based on what is stipulated in the divorce, usually up to divorce date, but there are certain laws regarding what a spouse is entitled to. I would get some legal advice.
Happy New 2022 year Sandra to you & your loved ones! After 20 years of marriage, my husband and I are in the process of a divorce (hopefully close to the end). We need to do a QDRO, splitting his pension in 50/50.
We do NOT have our own lawyers. My husband and I, as soon as we’ve reached certain agreements a while ago, we notarized & sent them to court & this was one of the agreements: that if later HE (pension participant) happens to pass away, he would like his remaining pension to go to our 2 sons (their current ages are 10 & 16). I’m ok giving up the other half of my right to HIS survivor beneficiary for our children, ONLY as long as under this condition: that our sons get to directly benefit from their father’s survivor benefits & no one else down the road in the future could legally take this benefit away from our kids.
My concern is: what if he (my soon to be ex husband) eventually gets remarried, I’d like my children’s survivor benefits be protected PERMANENTLY, where his new wife won’t have an opportunity to convince him later on to transfer the survivor benefits from our children, onto her. He had fallen a prey for convincing scammers (including someone who pretended/acted like his best friend for several years up UNTIL that person convinced my husband to take a huge loan under my husband’s name for him, then he that friend disappeared – this was occurring in secrecy WITHOUT my knowledge up until divorce process, that’s when I began discovering all this shocking info), while my husband lost thousands of $$ money. That’s my concern of what could happen with the new wife.
Because we came up with this survivor beneficiary agreement ourselves back in year 2020 WITHOUT any legal guidance but NOW this had raised alarming questions in my mind to reevaluate our previous pension agreement:
#1. Is that even possible for our MINOR UNDERAGE children be for their father – to be set as his pension survivor beneficiary in a QDRO or is there is a requirement where an adult ONLY can be named as pension beneficiary?
#2. Could a QDRO be created this way: for our sons to be named as IRREVOCABLE beneficiary FOREVER & so later on their father doesn’t get convinced to change his mind, taking this away from our children transferring this onto a new person ?
#3. IF that’s NOT possible (“NO” – to these 2 above questions), then… could I be named as (my soon to be ex husband) HIS survivor beneficiary right now in a situation if he passes away. And when I die, could I pass those 2 pension benefits (MY OWN & THEIR FATHER’s portion) onto my children (I’m assuming by that time that occurs, my kids will be at grown up age). Question: How many times could survivor benefit be passed around from one surviving person to person ?
Hello Luda, I would definitely consult with an attorney regarding all of your legal questions. If you decide you would like our office to prepare any of the paperwork for you once you have some direction, please call 800-747-2780 and we can proceed.
Good afternoon i was married for 23 yrs ( Southern California ). me and my ex husband split up and about 5 yrs later he serve me with divorce docs. So now ive been divorced since 2017 however i was never informed or educated on this QDRO. So oi guess my question would be can i still proceed with claiming pension benefits and if so can you supply me with who and where i need to go. Thank you again as this website has truly educated me on my rights as well as what a QDRO is. to funny
Hi Irene, we can prepare the QDRO paperwork based on what the Judgment says for $499, please call the office on 800-747-2780.
Does a monthly QDRO settlement replace filing for an ex-husbands Social Security income once he is eligible? We were married 20 years & both under PERS so the Social Security was credit from outside jobs. I already receive monthly QDRO payments.
Hello Sandy, I would get some legal advice regarding this issue. You could also try avvo.com.
My husband ex filed a QDRO and be approved by judge 2016. my question is if she wants get her part, she needs to pay or she can ask my husband pay for the whole part. Because now my husband changed a job, he wants me to help him rollover his 401K to his IRA account, but because of the QDRO, the fund be froze. I tried to file a RFO to remove it. it costs like $435 to do that. She left him when he had his second time cancer, so he didn’t want to pay any more money for her to get money from him. You know. I just try everything to help him on this.
Thank you so much!
Hello Cissy, it may be that the process simply needs completed, but there are guides regarding what a spouse is entitled to. I would get some legal advice.
My divorce was final in 2012. My ex has never filed a QDRO for his portion of my pension and 401b. In January 2021, my 401b changed administrators. I provided him with the new information so he can finally start the process of filing the QDROs. I have continued to contribute since then and the account has grown substantially. I realize he is not entitled to my contributions but he will benefit from the overall growth of the account. My question is, “how do they calculate the amount he will receive since it has been over 9 years since the divorce?” The date of separation is the date that is in the divorce decree. Any insight would be appreciated.
Hello Bonnie, The plan requires a copy of the filed Judgment which will have the information they need to split the account. You may need to talk to the plan directly if you want specific information. However, you do not need to wait for your spouse to initiate the QDRO process, you can certainly proceed with the preparation of the documents on your end if you wish to do so. Please contact our office on 800-747-2780 if you would like a contract for services.
What is an order like QDRO that can be implemented and in place before a separation of parties?
I am not familiar with anything like that. A Joinder can be filed joining the Plan to an existing Legal Separation or Divorce case. You may want to ask an attorney if there is any option that does that.
Hi Sandy …
I my ex-husband passed away. His new wife submitted paperwork for his retirement including our MSA. His company (Local union 701) sent me paperwork telling me that I needed a QDRO. We all live in Fresno but we divorced in Sacramento. I’m assuming I will have to make the trip to get this QDRO done. What is that process? Will I get it back the same day or how would I obtain a copy so I can get it to the union? Will I need to make another drive back? And what signatures need to be in the QDRO when I take it to the courthouse?
QDRO’s typically requite the signature of both parties. You may have to file a motion on this. Talk to an attorney for direction then give us a call.
Hi Sandy, when dividing 401(k), what’s the fair value should be used for division? My wife and I have separated since January 2019, and the value of my 401(k) continues to grow since then. I’m not sure which value of my 401(k) should be listed, should it be the value just prior to my date of separation, or the current value as of the date of MSA?
It’s usually based on date of separation but you two can agree to anything that you would like!
Should I use my married name or my now legally changed maiden name on a QDRO since my divorce has been finalized?
If we were preparing your documents we would reference both.
I am in CA and my ex had the QDRO done through Operating Engineers Local 3. They are telling me that I CANNOT roll over my share of the account into any differed comp plan and that I have to wait for him to retire before receiving a monthly payment. We have been divorced for 20 years. What can I do?
Every Plan has different options set by 1) the Plan itself and 2) the Judgment. You may want to have an attorney review both documents.
My daughter spent nearly 4 years getting a divorce in PA. Her attorney delayed doing many things that slowed the process down. She really qualified for lifetime alimony due to being unable to work and 37 years of marriage, but she only got five years at a very low income. Part of the separations agreement was that she was to receive the escrow fund held by her husband’s lawyer, half his pension, he would reimburse half the legal fees, and turn over an E-Trade fund. She finally received her divorce degree copy by email. It was signed on July 1st. She got the email on July 9th. She still does not have the original decree and none of the funds have been given to her. The effective date of the settlement agreement was in December of 2019. I feel she should have received her money then. The lawyer has not contacted her about the funds transfer. His secretary sent the email copy of the divorce. She is living in poverty and the lawyer knows it. Is there not some authority that can address the snails pace of the lawyer and insure she gets her money? If so, what is the contact information?
Unfortunately we only handle California document preparation. I would reach out to someone in PA fir advice on this matter.
I’ve been researching and still unclear on the QUADRO process.Does the Judge have to sign it first or the Plan Admin? The divorce is in California. I have the divorce judgement that says spouse gets 50% of 401K but does the Plan Administrator supposed to look at the marriage date and the separation date?
I have 2 401k from different companies, but the second of I started after the separation date. does that mean the spouse is not entitled to that money since it was after the separation date?
First look at your judgment. Division usually pertains to accumulation up to date of separation and not after. The QDRO process has multiple steps. Our office usually gets plan approval before the parties sign it and before it is filed with the court.
Thank you for this excellent site.
My divorce was final years ago. I need to get a certified copy of the QDRO to the plan administrator.
Where do I go to request the document be sent to them?
QDRO’s are custom prepared documents specific to the individual Plan. They are not forms. If you need help preparing your QDRO please give us a call at 800-747-2780.
my ex received her portion of my retirement after our divorce. We both were still working and have CPERS. Now, I’m retired and am entitled to receive a portion of hers. CPERS said I need to ask the court to amend the QDRO to a Model A so I can receive her retirement. I can type the order, but need to know am I just changing from becoming the member to nonmember and do I need my ex to sign anything?
Every retirement requires its own QDRO. You would not amend a QDRO for one plan to apply to a different retirement. The QDRO should be designed to comply with a specific plan’s requirements. I would recommend that you reach out to either our office or someone else who prepares these regularly do you have the second QDRO properly prepared. YOU can give us a call at 800-747-2780.
HI Sandy -I am emailing to ask how back rears are distributed in a divorce . We are in the process of doing QDRO and my ex will owe me alot of money in back rears for his pension and variable supplement as per the JOD. Once QDRO is final and his pension is garnished how do they pay out back rears ? Will back rears also be garnished from his check and how is this done?
Not sure is arrears are referring to support? If so, that is usually a separate process. A QDRO simply divides the retirement. If you are talking about missed retirement payments because you did not timely process the QDRO, you may have missed out. Talk to the Plan Administrator or an attorney.
Hello, I have been divorces for 6 months. It was a uncontested divorce , I want to give my wife 50% of my only IRA that I have. I didn’t know all this was involved. Thought I could contact Fidelity where my IRA is and just fill out forms and me and her sign them. They so they need a legal document to release and roll money over into her IRA with Them. Then I went searching the universe for this QDRO form, thinking I could get one from the court or online download and she and I could sign it fill it out and submit it to the court. ! Seems I need a service like yours to do this. So I cannot do this myself ??? If not I will call your service.. you are the first service that explained this process well
We did our divorce ourself using one of the popular online divorce sites, that went well.
SO, can I do this myself ??? or not
Please help ! I am frustrated on how to get this done ….
Thank You !!!!!!
Hi Dennis. We would be happy to help you with the QDRO process. Since every QDRO is uniquely different, it would probably be difficult to try and do this on your own without some sort of professional help. Just give our office a call at 800-747-2780. Our fee is $499.
Is there a time limit on how long the ex has to collect their portion of the quadro? I have to give my ex-husband 47% of my pension. The quadro is finished. I’ve been divorced for 6 years. And the quadro has been finished for at least five years. But it looks like he never collected it or did anything about it.
Was the approved QDRO ever sent to the Plan Admin?
I have a completed DQRO signed by a judge and all parties. The company that completed the QDRO (great service) said they will charge me an additional $100 to mail the QDRO. I will gladly mail it however, I don’t know the address and they will not tell me. Any additional questions to the QDRO company or my attorney will cost $100 just to get an address. The QDRO is for FERS for a Federal Government retirement. Where can I find the address to mail my QDRO.
This info is usually in the QDRO document itself.
which party is supposed winitiate the quadro when it was ordered but no party was named
Either party can start the QDRO process.
My Fiance’s QDRO was just approved by the court. What are the next steps that she should take? Is she eligible to simply receive a cash payout? Is there a form of some sort that she needs to fill out in order to actually receive payment from the 401K that is to be divided?
Check with the plan. as cash out will surely result in a taxable event against your fiancé.
My wife surved me divorce papers and wants to keep the ring but wants to split all of her debt so I’m left with nothing but owing her about $5k in credit card debt , so I want to split her 401k but don’t know how to start that process if she won’t give me all the info about it because she doesn’t want me to do that obviously.. and I’m in Arizona where it’s a community property state ..
Talk to an Arizona attorney if that is where your case is filed.
My fiance is pre-planning for retirement through PERS. He went today to discuss the amount he would receive when he retires. He has been divorced for 12 years and he has a QDRO .He was told that his ex will get a set percentage of his CURRENT gross income! The QDRO was done by a paralegal. He thought that the amount she would get would be based off his gross pay at time of divorce. How does he go about finding out if something is wrong with the way it was done?
The QDRO should have been prepared according to the terms of the judgment of divorce. He could take a copy of the judgment and a copy of the QDRO to an attorney and have them review it, but it may be too late to make any changes on it.
I’m trying to get pension info as to when I can collect and amounts early v full retirement & with QDROS in effect, contacted said company was told back in March to contact 3rd party company to research QDROS, that’s all be done. 3rd party co. says research has been done contact your Co.
To make long story short ex-wife & I remarried years ago all marriage certificates and legal papers were submitted to 3rd party, My co. Dragging its feet, how do I move forward & have QDROS settled?
Hi James – Once the QDROs have been done and submitted to the Plan that is all that should be required. I am not sure what you nmean when you say documents were submitted to “third party.”
We are in the process of divorce and I am giving my ex 1/2 of my 401k through a QDRO. He will be taking it as a lump sum. Is there any restriction he has with the money. We are amicable and he is planning on paying off most of my debt. I just want to make sure that is legal
There may be tax issues if a lump sum withdrawal is made. Talk with your accountant.
An employee of the company I work for provided me with a copy of a QDRO signed by a judge. The QDRO was reviewed at the draft stage. Can I begin the process of complying with the QDRO immediately, or do I need to wait to receive something directly from the court?
QDROs are processed by the Plan Administrator. Are you the Plan Administrator? Do you have a signed court order QDRO signed by the Judge!
Does an Eriisa pension plan usually pay benefits to the estate of the deceased non-employee? There are
no minor children. Trying to determine if in my divorce settlement negotiations if I should just take
mine and let his estate have his Ira, so my pension isn’t affected.
Every plan is different. Talk to the Plan Administrator for more information about options they will allow. If you do need help preparing a QDRO, we can certainly do that.
i would like to know if you can help execute an existing QDRO that im trying to make it effective upon my ex wifes retirement age of 60 on her b-day this coming september 23, 2018 . She is not planning on retiring due to the fact that she wants to avoid having 1/2 of her retirement being automatically taken out from pension. Ive heard that i dont have to wait till she retires to start receiving the court ordered QDRO as long as she reaches her retirement age of 60. Can you help and enlighten me about my situation?
I would talk to an attorney to get some legal advice about what your options are.
A QDRO was sent to my ex’s plan administrator It was approved however there I am issue with a timeline This needs to be changed. however I have not seen the draft nor signed anything for approval. Is it accurate to say that this cannot go to the court without me having seen this? Time is of essence. Additionally 2 other plans have not yet been approved one of mine and one of his Typically do they all go in as one for approval by a judge? Thank you for your time.
Each plan typically requires its own separate QDRO which usually requires the written signature of both parties.
Is it always process that once the money owed in a QDRO has been blessed by the courts and accepted/blessed by the plan administrator, that it get rolled into an account chosen by the plan administrator? Can I provide my own account I want the money rolled into, such as an IRA, etc? If I need money from it, how does that typically work?
Thank you in advance!
Usually they set up their own account but like any account you probably can roll it over to another one. Check with the Plan.
We have an old Divorce case, over 18 years old, that is final. A QDRO was entered but funds never settled due to many circumstances out of our control. I want to remove the lock on my accounts and offered a settlement. Long story short, we have agreed on a settlement amount. How do we go about changing the QDRO – Joinder and what forms would I need to enter into the courts?
Hi Jamie – we would simply need to modify the earlier judgment which we could help you with. Give us a call at 800-747-2780 and I will be happy to get this started for you.
I don’t want to modify anything. I agreed to the terms, as presented to me. She wanted a lump sum payment from my pension. Now, it isn’t quite working out, with my pension. No immediate payout available.Divorce is final. She will have to wait for 2 years per plan administrator. Because of this, she wants to re-open divorce judgement, to get other assets not included in the final court judgement. I don’t see how this is possible.
I am not an attorney but I do not see how it is possible either. Talk to an attorney if you need legal advice.
My divorce, is final. The judgement states that my wife, as the alternate payee, will receive 50% of my pension in a lump sum payment immediately upon finalization of divorce, in addition to non-modifiable maintenance payments for six months, which I have already fulfilled. However, the plan administrator states that no benefit can be paid to alternate payee, until I am retirement eligible. That is almost 2 years from now. Can the divorce judgement be re-opened to take other assets from me that were not included in the divorce decree, since she cannot get to my retirement benefits for another 2 years?
Are you both wanting to modify the Judgment? If so, we can help with that paperwork.
Hello Sandy, my QDRO has been submitted by my attorney this is my second attempt, I asked to my Attorney when we will receive the $400,000 he said bluntly I do not know! this is my first case working with this kind of QDRO!! what should I do ? where could I found out … who to call?
First of all, a QDRO is typically not a pay out of money. What they do is segregate the account into another retirement account for alternate payee’s awarded portion. Once this alternate account is set up, if the alternate payee decides to cash it out there most likely will be a huge tax penalty attributed. You may want to talk to the Plan Administrator or a CPA with regards to your intention of cashing out so there won’t be any unpleasant tax surprises. You can always call the Plan Administrator and urge them along in completing the QDRO approval process. Your comment was unclear as to whether or not the QDRO had actually already been submitted to the court or if you’re just now waiting for the plan to divide the account.
It’s been almost 8 years since my divorce, at that time it was court ordered by the judge that a qdro be setup for my ex-wife to receive a lump sum of my pension through my employer which has already took place and has been closed. However, now I cannot access my pension plan account through my employer at all.. when I called and spoke with a plan administrator, I was told the case has been closed but they can’t take my ex-wife’s name off and they can’t fix the reason why I do not have access my account… I can never look at my own Pension Plan through my employer, that to me is rather shady. Please help.
Sounds strange. You may want to talk to a lawyer.
I have a court date for our approved and signed (by both former spouses) QDRO. Do we both need to be present at court for the Judge’s approval?
There usually is not a court hearing required for approving a QDRO so I am not sure what you are doing in this regard.
Hello! Love the comments so far. My x won’t sign the QDRO and it’s been approved by the Plan. I am having to take his default (he moved to FL and won’t respond to me) and I am concerned about what to do next. Can I just sign it and file it with my default and judgment? Thank you for your time.
Unfortunately not. We can help you file a motion however once the judgment has been approved by the court.
Under the terms of my divorce the settlement included that I receive half of my ex-husband’s pension. At the time of the divorce this wasn’t a priority for me as I was in my 40’s. Now that I’m ready to obtain the pension, I had an attorney review the settlement and was advised the QDRO was not done at the time of the divorce. I contacted the attorney that handled the divorce and she wants $1,400.00 to complete the QDRO. I’m also living in another state (Colorado) now. I’m truly at a loss as to how to move forward with getting this completed. I have no contacts in the state (California) the divorce was finalized so I have absolutely no idea how to proceed! Any advice would be most appreciated!
We can help you prepare for he required QDRO for far less ($499). Give us a call at 800-747-2780 and speak with Virginia at extension 103.
MY divorce was finalized in 2012. A legitimate QDRO was drawn up by my attorney and has been filed with the local register of deeds and the state retirement system, as far as I know. My ex has now passed his retirement date in February and I’m sure he can’t afford to retire, lol. My question is: How do I go about getting my share of the retirement, I am ready to roll it into an IRA to gain interest until I myself can retire. Also any suggestions on the best IRA to choose?
Typically once the Plan Administrator has received the QDRO they automatically set up the alternate payee’s account. I would suggest talking to the Plan Administrator to get your questions answered.
Once a QDRO has been completed and the retirement fund amount has been determine for the Alternate payee and has been set aside in a separate account; can the employer still govern when that funds can be accessed.
Usually a separate account is set up for the alternate payee. I would suggest you talk to the Plan Administrator. If you are not getting the answers you feel you need, spea, to an attorney.
My husband went through a divorce 6 years ago. It was agreed upon that his ex would get 50% of his 401k. Divorce was finalized and the 2 went on their merry way. Now 6 years later his ex is saying she never received the funds from his 401k and is hounding my husband on getting the money. He has told her that her attorney was supposed to get the qdro written up but she is saying no that her attorney and his dropped the ball. My husbands employer has switched 401k providers and he’s tried to get statements from them. Once they sent him a statement he sent it to her attorney. It Had the balance at that time of the divorce. Her attorney is coming back and saying it wasn’t enough information. We are confused as to why he has to be involved when the the divorce decree clearly states she gets half of what it was at the time it states in the decree? Her attorney is starting to threaten my husband. My husband is not wanting to have to pay once again for an attorney when this was already taken care of 6 years ago. Is this normal?? Shouldn’t her attorney be the one writing up a QDRO order and sending it to my husbands HR with the decree and my husband should no longer be involve since it’s in the divorce decree? It was also stated that they could sit down and come up with a new amount. My husband is completely taken back as to why he is having to go through all of this once again. Any suggestions?
First, look at the judgment and see if it indicates who was supposed to prepare the QDRO. The plan should calculate out the amount due. There should be no reason your husband would need to provide statements. If you need help in preparing the QDRO, please give our office a call 800-747-2780.
i have a separation agreement from 2015 that my ex wife gets half of my 401k. our divorce was final in jan 2016. she had her divorce lawyer do her Qualified Domestic Relations Order . they have submitted this twice in the last 2 years only to be rejected for numerous mistakes. all the while my 401k has been frozen by the company until this is resolved. i’m losing money everyday because of this issue. can this order be overturned due to her taking too long ? do i have options?
Your 401k share should still be subject to normal gains and losses so you should not be losing anything on your share.
My husband has battled with his employer over a quadro that we signed. Since then, my entitlement has been reduced. I have studied my documents and I think they have twisted a few things that were not clear in my ex’s favor. I would like to hire someone to look over my documents. I reside in Georgia.
You would need to hire an attorney in the state where your divorce was filed if you need legal advice and review.
Hello Sandy, my divorce judgement was entered for July 2016, we were married for 14 years, My x is entitled to half of the pension of the 14 years. A jointer has been filed with Calpers. If I don’t plan on retiring for another 4 years, should I have a QDRO drafted or just wait until I am close to retirement?
A QDRO is typically filed right away. You may be forfeiting income since date of separation. I would get it done asap!
Hello Sandy, my quads has been
completed since January 2018.
It has already been signed by the Judge.
The plan administrator acknowledgethat it qualifies as a quarry, I sent in forms
for a direct deposit request in March,
what is taking so long for the plan to
give me my cut? I called the plan’s office and was told it was being audited. What could that possibly mean?
Perhaps calculating the division? Not sure..
Sandra I divorced and I was given half of my ex retirement. And I did qdro and the check was mailed to me, in order for me to roll over to IRA account. My cpa advice told me to bring the check to her office and I did. And they told me that I will receive mail from retirement company within 5days. After 14days i never receive any letter.I conducted the Pca and she told me she received the policy from Retirement company. I ask who’s address on the policy. They asked me if I can come to the office to review the account. Sandra please help I never did this before.
Too may want to talk to an attorney. I’m not sure what your question is regarding. Typically when a QDRO is processed, a separate account is set up for the alternate payee. I am not sure why you would have a check or why you would bring a check to your CPA on this. if you want to call her off at you can reach us at 800-747-2780. We may be able to look at the court docket to see what has been filed.
My QDRO has been signed by the judge and then filed last November , but I have just been notified that my ex husband employer just changed the pension administrator in August. I am the alternate payee and now the new admin – Fidelity – is currently reviewing my QDRO to determine qualification.
I am concerned that they may ask for a new QDRO, which would be excruciating for me. The filed QDRO language – it is a 401k – specify plan name, both participant and alternate payee information, valuation date, specific dollar amount, gains and losses, outstanding loans, commencement of alternate payee awards, taxation, etc. Now I am really concerned the new bookkeeper will not accept my assets valuation date ( 2010 )
Thank you for any insight
The valuation date should be established by the Judgment itself so the fact that the Plan administrator changed should have no bearing on that.
I had my attorney write up a QDRO for division of my retirement. It’s in the form of a stipulation, which has to be signed by the various parties, or so I thought. The Retirement plan has given preliminary approval of the QDRO. My ex has had the stipulation for almost a month (Certified mail) and has not responded. When I went to court, the judge looked at my paperwork and stated “this isn’t a QDRO, its only a stipulation. You need to come back with the QDRO”. I’ve looked at various sites online that do QDRO’s preparation and they all say that you first must have the stipulation and after it’s signed by the judge it becomes the QDRO. What am I missing? The attorney, who currently lives in the northern part of the state is perplexed as well.
First, we would have to see what you prepared. If your wife is not cooperating and signing the QDRO, we can assist in filing a motion to request the court sign on her behalf if the drafted QDRO complies with the terms of the judgment. Please give our office a call at 800-747-2780 extension 0.
Hi Sandy, My ex was ordered to arrange a QDRO within 6 months of our divorce, his Attorney was to forward all documents to me. I am bipolar and have been in a fog for years, last year my life and meds changed and last night I read my divorce papers for the 1st time. This order was never carried through with, how do I go about getting what was supposed to be done, done, and am I entitled to interest on the amount I should have received?
You can hire a service like ours to prepare the QDRO. Hopefully it is not too late. You did not indicate how long ago you were divorced. Give us a call at 800-747-2780 if you need assistance.
I have a retirement account with TIAA-CREF. Recently, the Judge ordered my former husband to transfer QDRO some of the money from his Scottrade accounts. Could you please let me know from where I start? Can I use TIAA-CREF and open with them an IRA or I need to open a Scottrade account? Thank you.
Did you prepare the QDRO??
Just called the law office that is handling my QDRO since I was following up, Its taking a while and I always get an answer that I’m in line. Its been 2 months (May) now its August. Approximately how long ? And I never get a call or an update I have to be the one calling, that goes with my divorce lawyer as well. I’m looking for a new divorce lawyer right now and also thinking if my QDRO is with the right firm which my divorce lawyer referred.
Can you give me an advise?
QDROs can take several months but I cannot comment in your particular case since I do not know what efforts the lawyer has made with the draft or contacting the Plan Administrator regarding this. You might want to try and get some more information. If you feel your are being ignored, you may consider a Plan B company who will respond to your communications. Ignoring a client’s communication is, in our opinion, unacceptable.
Hi there, I hired a paralegal in Dec 2016 to prepare a quadro. It’s been six months! It’s like pulling teeth with a tooth pick to get him to reply. At this point I am concerned that he is blowing me off as he refuses to communicate with me. I have endless emails. I am asking if that is typical of how paralegals are supposed to treat their paying clients. Thank you
First, if you hired a “paralegal” rather than a legal document assistant such as our office, that may have been your first mistake. Paralegals are not authorized to provide services directly to the public. If a paralegal is offering services to the general public they would be doing so illegally. You should have hired a registered legal document assistant. With regards to your other question, failure to respond to communications from a client would, if our office, be completely unacceptable. In fact, our office demands that staff respond to emails within the day of receipt. You may want to sue for the return of your money and hire another company that is reputable. We would be happy to assist you in this matter should you wish to reach out to us at 800-747-2780.
Can the recipient of the employee’s funds cash out part of their funds or does the whole amount have to be put into another plan?
You should be able to cash it out AFTER they split it into a separate but most likely it would be a “taxable” event. The purpose of the QDRO is that it avoids the division being taxable. A cash out after the split would not. Talk to your CPA how this would affect you.
What happens when a former employer (who provided the retirement plan) requires the former spouse to show up in person before they will disburse the funds? (Meaning that the former employer will not disburse the funds for the original employee until the former spouse shows up in person at the office?”
Usually a QDRO order is required to divide retirement funds. This includes obtain a court order and both parties signing the document.