QDRO’s/Division of Retirement in Divorce

For most divorcing couples, the two largest assets of the marriage are the marital home and retirement accounts. Sometimes, one spouse will prefer to award the other spouse more assets so they can keep their retirement account intact rather than dividing it. When there are not enough assets to offset the imbalance, the retirement account has to be divided. But, dividing retirement accounts is not as simple as a court decreeing that each party gets one-half of the other party’s account. It takes a properly drafted QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) to make sure each party gets his or her marital or community property share of the other’s retirement benefits. A substantial number of QDROs are not prepared properly because they do not reflect the parties’ understanding of what they were awarded in the divorce proceeding. I can help you determine the best option for dividing retirement accounts upon divorce and then properly draft a Qualified Domestic Relations Order that will direct the retirement plan to pay what was awarded into an I.R.A. This will enable that portion to be turned over without creating tax penalties for the nonparticipating spouse.