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What is a qualified domestic relations order?

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2022 | Family Law |

When you get divorced, you may want to consider using a qualified domestic relations order. This is usually referred to as a QDRO. It’s a type of legal order that can be on file to help divide financial assets.

The benefit of using a QDRO is that it can set up ways to divide assets that may be obtained in the future, even when these assets are not going to be obtained by you specifically. Your ex may be granted them at a later date, but you still have a claim because they were earned during the marriage, and the QDRO sets up the percentage of that financial asset that should be directed to you.

A retirement plan

One of the most common examples of this is a pension plan or a retirement plan. When your spouse took the job, they were probably told how much of the plan they would be earning and when it would be significant enough that they could retire. They may have even taken a smaller paycheck in order to put some of the money toward this retirement plan.

But they were earning that plan while they were still married to you. If you get divorced before they retire, they are not yet getting their retirement payments, so this is easy to overlook. You need to remember that you may still have a right to at least some of that retirement plan since a portion of it was earned during the marriage. The QDRO can stipulate how much money your ex is going to need to pay you out of those installments in the future.

Financial situations like this can get quite complicated, and you don’t want to make any mistakes, so be sure you understand your legal options.