QDRO Preparation

Qualified Domestic Relations Order Preparation

QDROs are mainly utilized for dividing retirement plans as marital property, paying alimony, and paying child support (including arrearages).

A QDRO is a court order separate from the divorce judgment or settlement agreement. It requires the transfer of a portion of the retirement benefits and accounts to a non-participant spouse, referred to as an Alternate Payee.

QDROs can be for alimony, child support, or to divide retirement benefits as marital property. WFA Econometric Group can perform calculations of a marital component and other financial measures and testify to the results.

We specialize in drafting and consulting on QDROs, so you can rest assured your client is protected.

What WFA Econometric Group Will Do

  • Prepare the preliminary Domestic Relations Order (DRO)

  • Present the preliminary DRO to Plan Administrator and attorneys

  • Negotiate and facilitate DRO language under the divorce settlement

  • Final DRO is provided to one or both attorneys to be presented to the court and subsequently to the Plan Administrator for implementation

  • See Our Checklist

The Process

Plan administrators are responsible for verifying that a domestic relations order meets the retirement plan requirements. Since there are thousands of plans across the U.S., each administrator may have their own preferences for the language and terms used in a QDRO.

Every plan is different, and the circumstances of each case are often different. This facilitates the need for a professional specializing in QDROs. We facilitate the complete negotiation process and the preliminary draft and then provide the final draft for implementation by the attorneys.

All communication, correspondence, and consultation between our firm, the Plan Administrator, and counsel for the parties are included in our fee. This can most often be a very smooth process and accomplished within 30 to 45 days. We maintain an ongoing communication process up to and through the final draft.

Required Information

  • Copy of Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, or Judgment of Divorce is required:

    • Date of Marriage

    • Date of Divorce (separation, filing, or specifically the date of division)

    • Name of Judge, County, and Case Number

    • Complete Address of Both Parties

    • Social Security # of Both Parties

    • Dates of Birth for Both Parties

    • Which Party is The Petitioner/Plaintiff & Which is the Respondent/Defendant

  • Copy of the Plan Document or Summary Plan Description

  • Copy of Marital Settlement Agreement

  • Pre-payment for commencement of service (required)

Special Situations

Please note that some plans are not governed under ERISA and are exempt from the Internal Revenue Code regarding QDROs. This includes:

  • State Retirement Systems

  • City

  • County

  • U.S. Postal Service

  • Military

  • Other Government Plans

Most federal government, military, and state retirement plans will accept a QDRO or a similar document to divide retirement benefits as marital property. However, municipal retirement plans and executive deferred compensation plans can be more complicated, and they may not accept QDROs or any other order to divide retirement benefits. So, it is important to exercise caution when dealing with these types of plans and consider alternative methods for dividing retirement benefits.

Don’t hesitate to contact our firm if you want to know more about our many solutions regarding these plans.

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