What is a QDRO? Do I Need One?

by Norris Law Group on December 11, 2013

qdro-attorneyAccording to the US Department of Labor, a Qualified Domestic Relation Order, or QDRO (pronounced quadro), is a “judgment, decree, or order…” that is made pursuant to state domestic relations law [and] to the provision of child support, alimony payments, or marital property rights for the benefit of a spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent of a participant.”

More simply stated, “A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is required in any divorce in which benefits from one spouse’s current pension or other retirement plan are to be shared with the other spouse or a child when they are disbursed.” It is a federal requirement, as references in ERISA § 206(d)(3)(B)(i) and IRC § 414(p)(1)(A).

A QDRO must be included as part of any divorce in which a former spouse and/or children of the marriage are slated to receive any part of a pension or retirement plan from the other spouse. Per Utah state law, the administrators of retirement or pension plans cannot disburse funds to any beneficiary who did not sign a QDRO. Once a QDRO is in place, funds will be distributed per the terms outlined therein. Many retirement and pension plans offer their investors information on how to set up QDROs within their respective plans. Contact your individual retirement plan provider(s) for more information.

Although QDROs are required by federal law, many attorneys do not draft them, based on their extremely technical requirements. Attorney Graham Norris has several years of experience drafting QDROs from private plans, government plans and the military. Other attorneys refer their clients to Graham Norris for the drafting of QDROs. He can also draft QDROs for divorce decrees originating in Utah, Idaho, California or Wyoming. Contact his offices today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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