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A Qualified Domestic Relations Order, commonly abbreviated to QRDO is a Family Law legal document that divides investments during a divorce. The most common investment that the QRDO addresses is retirement benefits. Qualified Domestic Relations Orders are very technical and have many complex requirements. One of the most important complexities is dividing retirement benefits without triggering early withdrawal tax penalties.
A Qualified Domestic Relations Order creates the existence of an alternative payee's right to receive all or a share of the retirement plan participant's future payout. The QRDO can relate to the provision of child support, alimony payments, or spousal property rights.
Many retirement plans are accumulated through tax differed investment plans, these plans (401ks, IRAs, etc.) usually have penalties if the funds are withdrawn before retirement age. A Family Law Lawyer can use a Qualified Domestic Relation Order to split and/or change ownership of the retirement plan without triggering the tax penalties. Through the QRDO legal order the retirement funds are moved into new retirement accounts in the new respective owners names.
Qualified Domestic Relations Order can also be used to divide a share of a retirement asset or pension plan. The QDRO may grant ownership or partial ownership in the pension plan to an alternative payee (spouse, former spouse, child or other dependent).
An experienced Qualified Domestic Relations Order Attorney can assist clients with the complex tax, securities and valuation issues associated with splitting or assigning new payee's to retirement assets. Most QDRO legal work is performed by Family Law Attorneys, however not all Family Law Attorneys do QDRO work. Attorney Search Network can refer you a family law attorney to assist with your Divorce or Legal Separation including QDRO issues.
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