We understand that the separation and divorce process is a difficult experience. Below please find a list of frequently asked questions and answers. If you have a question that is not covered below, please email us at email@example.com.
Why can't I just fill in the blanks on the QDRO Form given to me by the Plan?
Model Orders provided by Plan Administrators may not include important clauses that protect either party. Remember the plan is providing you with model QDROs to simplify its own work. It is important to consult with an experienced QDRO attorney to make sure your rights are preserved.
When do I need to get a QDRO?
The QDRO should be drafted during or immediately after the separation and/or divorce process, even if your spouse will not retire for several more years. Your entitlement to your spouse's benefits may be lost if he or she retires, remarries, dies, quits, is fired, withdraws funds, or takes out a loan against his or her retirement, prior to the QDRO being approved by the Plan.
How long does the QDRO Process take?
Our goal is to draft and process the QDRO as quickly as possible. We strive to complete the process within three (3) months, however, delays by the Plan Administrator or your spouse are out of our control.
When will I receive my money?
The answer to this question depends on the type of plan the retirement assets are held in. If the assets are in a Defined Contribution Plan (401k, Money purchase pension plan, Profit-sharing plan, Stock bonus plan, ESOPs) you will usually be able to roll a lump-sum into your own qualified retirement plan as soon as the QDRO is processed. If the assets are in a Defined Benefit Plan you will most likely be limited to receiving your portion of the assets as a monthly annuity upon retirement of the Participant. In some circumstances, if the Participant has not already retired, the Plan may allow you to choose how and in what manner you receive your portion of the benefits.