In most cases, a divorce settlement involves dividing retirement plan assets. What many people – including some attorneys – don’t understand is that a divorce settlement alone cannot divide many accounts like pension plans and 401(k)s. You need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).
A QDRO (“Quadro”) is a court order that instructs a retirement plan administrator to divide the assets in the retirement plan per the terms of your divorce settlement. Unless you have a QDRO, the plan administrator cannot comply with the terms of your settlement, and dividing the assets yourself is likely to cause a major tax problem for one or both divorcing spouses.
Cathy, as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, will assist your attorney in preparing your QDRO in accordance with your retirement plan’s rules. This document must be submitted and accepted by your retirement plan before your divorce is finalized.