Many people think that once their divorce is final, their work is done, and they can move on with their lives. However, there is another step that must be completed in order to receive all of the benefits that are entitled to you, or to protect your retirement assets if you are the employed spouse.
Qualified Domestics Relations Orders (QDROs) are instruments that divvy up benefits payable under retirement plans; this is an additional step that must happen AFTER the divorce process is complete. QDROs are not neutral documents. They are advocating documents, which means you should have effective and knowledgeable assistance to make sure your rights are protected, and that you are treated fairly in the long term.
There are many different kinds of retirement plans, and they all have different implications. For example, many retirement plans fluctuate with the stock market and have earnings and losses, so there is not a set amount to negotiate at any given time. The non-employee spouse doesn’t necessarily receive a lump sum; he/she may have to wait until the working employee retires, and the benefit could be a monthly payout. And, not all retirement plans are employer-sponsored plans … there are also IRAs (individual retirement accounts). To make things even more confusing, some people have multiple plans, so more than one QDRO could be needed. In other words, you will need a QDRO expert because the process is complicated!
Unfortunately, many law firms do not handle QDROs; clients must be aware that this additional step is necessary in order to receive all of the financial compensation that has been ordered in your divorce judgement. Our firm can take the hassle out of the QDRO process by helping to submit and finalize all of the necessary paperwork.
Attorney Jeffrey Hill and Paralegal Patricia Latham quickly and efficiently prepare Qualified Domestic Relations Orders for individuals who have recently gone through a divorce. They provide cost-effective results: quality work at a quality price.