A QDRO or qualified domestic relations order gives a former spouse access to retirement plan interest in a divorce. Interest in a retirement plan can not be administered to someone other than the plan participant without a court-ordered QDRO. This may require assigning some of the plan’s assets to an alternate payee to meet financial obligations related to marital property and family support. The terms of the payments will depend on the QDRO and the specific retirement plan. If you’re a New York resident and you’re facing divorce, here are some things you should know about the division of pensions.
Why is a QDRO necessary?
If you’re getting a divorce, you should have a QDRO so that you are entitled to your spouse’s retirement plan assets. If you ever face a division of pensions, you’ll need to have a QDRO in place and understand the document so that all retirement plans, including 401Ks, are divided efficiently.
Qualifications for a QDRO
To complete the division of pensions in a divorce, a QDRO is drafted to identify which spouse is distributing the retirement benefits and which spouse is receiving them. A QDRO must be a decree, order, or judgment from a state agency or a state-approved property settlement. The QDRO must also complete with the domestic relations laws of the state. It is also important to note that QDROs carry the same validity as alimony, child support, or any other asset or property granted to either spouse in a divorce.
After speaking with your retirement plan administrator, consulting with a family law attorney to guide you through the divorce can ensure that marital assets are properly divided.