What Is QDRO?

A QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) is a judicial order that’s entered as part of a property division in a divorce. It’s responsible for splitting both parties’ retirement or assets pension plans and recognizing joint marital ownership interests. The divided portion is referred to as the “marital portion” and covers the amount that was earned from the date of marriage to the date of the divorce.

Our team of divorce attorneys are dedicated and prepared to help you with your QDRO issue. Contact Zolman Law Firm in St. Louis for a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your divorce, at 314.846.6633.

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How Does the QDRO Process Work?

What’s the difference between the alternate payee and the participant?
In a QDRO, an alternate payee is a person receiving the benefits. Whereas the participant refers to the employed person enrolled in the retirement plan and the one giving up the benefits.
How is the QDRO carried out?
It usually depends on the settlement agreement between both parties or is left up to the judge’s discretion.
Who is responsible for completing the QDRO?
Usually, the alternate payees will prepare the QDRO, leaving the opposing counsel to review and approve the document. Once that’s ready, it’s always advisable to have the Plan Administrator (the person or company responsible for managing the retirement fund) review the draft before routing it for signature.
When does the QDRO take effect?
Once both attorneys have approved the QDRO, the judge will sign it and send a certified copy to the Plan Administrator. Once it’s approved, the plan will carry out the terms of the QDRO, notifying the participant, alternate payee, and both their attorneys.
How soon does the alternate payee gain ownership of their portion?
Once the asset is split into two separate accounts, the alternate payee gains control of the portion allocated to them.

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