Qualified Domestic Relations Order Services
A very significant portion of negotiating a property settlement includes the preparation of an enforceable qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). Parties are often compromised immediately and long-term as this step is often overlooked and badly managed. Because a qualified domestic relations order is such an important document, it should be prepared by a knowledgeable and experienced divorce attorney.
If either client has a retirement account or pension plan that they have contributed to over the course of their marriage, and the parties have not forever waived their respective claims, a QDRO is the document to effectuate division of those assets. A QDRO governs all types of retirement accounts including employee-sponsored pension plans,401(k) and 403(b) plans to TIAA/CREFs. In addition, State and Federal civil severance plans, IRAs, and military retirement pay are governed by similar Orders. It is the binding legal judgment that dictates terms of the payment to the alternate payee upon retirement.
In addition to ordering plans to pay benefits to a new payee, a QDRO also ensures that neither party is disproportionately impacted by taxes by allocating taxes either at the time of settlement or after. Once the judge has signed the order, Veralynn Morris, our CDFA®, will be able to assist you individually and/or your legal team by adding her financial expertise required to complement the execution of the terms of the QDRO.
Some 401k and related plans require the preparation of a QDRO expediently especially regarding asset division. Parties can agree to divide prior to retirement. Though it may seem to make sense to delay pursuing a QDRO until your former spouse begins receiving their benefits, this is a mistake that could cost you important rights to your portion. If your former spouse experiences certain life events before you obtain a QDRO, you may lose all your rights to receive benefits from their plan. These unanticipated life events include:
- Voluntary/Involuntary Termination
- Remarriage; and
What sets the QDRO Solutions Group apart from your attorney and other planners is that we can work with Alternate Payees to ensure that retirement funds are correctly allocated to financial tools such as IRAs, 401(k)s and other defined contribution plans from the moment the court order is received through the end of the process.
At Divorce Financial Solutions, we offer QDRO services to clients in the following Maryland jurisdictions: Frederick, Montgomery, Carroll, Washington, Howard and Garrett Counties. Contact us today for assistance.