QDRO stands for Qualified Domestic Relations Order. It is a judgment or order that is made under California family law codes and 1. relates to the provision of support or property rights to an "alternate payee" 2. creates, acknowledges, or assigns to an alternate payee a right to receive benefits under the plan and 3. meets certain statutory requirements.
Not every pension and 401K plan requires a QDRO. For example, a Federal Government Pension Plan doesn't need a QDRO. A county employee may need a Domestic Relations Order, but not a Qualified one. You need to contact your human resource department or retirement plan administrator to determine what is necessary in your case.
This is an area where spouses need to cooperate, or pay for expensive court interventions -- most companies will honor their employee's privacy and not speak with their spouse or a third party about their retirement plans. Most large organizations have a packet available for divorcing employees explaining the retirement options to consider in divorce. Providing that document to your legal document preparer will simplify and speed up the process of completing a retirement plan split.
We will prepare your Order, acquire necessary approvals from the Company, file with the court and submit to the Company for action. We will follow through on the process with you from the beginning to the end to be sure the retirement plan split is done in accordance with your divorce judgment and your instructions. Bear in mind, QDRO's are rarely completed quickly so do not begin spending the money until you have it in hand.
Along the way, Divorce Wizards will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
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