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Las Vegas QDRO

Let our experienced team get your QDRO taken care of.

What is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order?

A qualified domestic relations order or “QDRO” is a state court judgment, decree or order for a retirement plan to pay child support, alimony or marital property rights to a spouse, former spouse, child or other dependent of a participant.

Why is a QDRO Necessary?

To ensure that pensions and retirement accounts remain secure, Congress passed legislation which prohibits the alienation or transfer of pension/retirement benefits to anyone other than the participant in the plan. Excepted from the anti-alienation provisions of federal law are spouses, former spouses, children and dependents. For this special class of persons to receive all or a portion of the retirement benefits, a court must issue a QDRO directing the retirement plan to transfer the benefits.

When should a QDRO be obtained?

It is highly recommended that the QDRO be issued at or very near the time your decree of divorce is entered. If you are the alternate payee and your spouse dies after your divorce but before the QDRO is approved by the plan administrator and entered as an order, you may lose your right to share in the your spouse’s retirement benefits. Similarly, if the retirement benefits go into pay status before the QDRO is approved, the benefits to which you would otherwise be entitled could be substantially curtailed.

Is a Divorce Required for a QDRO?

A divorce is not required for the issuance of a QDRO. While QDROs are normally associated with the division of retirement benefits during a marital dissolution, QDRO’s can also be issued to pay maintenance during marriage or for the support of children or other dependents. Courts have also issued In-Marriage QDRO’s® to divide qualified retirement plans between happily married spouses.

What we Do

We prepare your QDRO.

The term “QDRO,” which is an acronym, stands for “Qualified Domestic Relations Order.”  Unless you have gone through a divorce and had a qualified retirement plan, you probably have never heard of this term. A QDRO is an order issued in a divorce proceeding for a retirement plan to pay a spouse or former spouse his or her community property rights in a retirement plan.  A QDRO can also order the plan to pay child support and/or alimony to a spouse, former spouse, child or other dependent of the plan participant.

QDRO’s are relatively simple documents, but they can be tricky to prepare.  For this reason, many family law attorneys refuse to prepare QDRO’s and often farm the task out to other attorneys,  who are familiar with the nuances of pension plans.  While farming out QDRO preparation is acceptable and may reduce legal fees, many family lawyers fail to address significant retirement issues in the divorce settlement or at trial.

Issues such as survivor spouse benefits, tax basis, loans against the account, and allocation of post-divorce gains and losses, should all be addressed in the Decree of Divorce and resolved before a case is sent to another attorney for drafting a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.

Las Vegas Qdro is a full-service family law firm, meaning we can handle any family law issue including the preparation of QDRO.  If your divorce case is over and you have yet to divide you or your spouse’s pension or 401(k) account, we can help you. All of the orders are approved by a licensed Nevada attorney.

Does a QDRO require a lawyer? No. A lawyer is not required but highly recommended. Many plan administrators have their own form QDROs that the plan encourages the participant and alternate payee to use. These forms are drafted with the interests of the plan in mind not the participant or alternate payee. Some plan forms are better than others, but many have stock provisions which deprive alternate payees of retirement interests that an independently drafted QDRO would address. If you are in need of a QDRO, please call Las Vegas QDRO’s for a free consultation.

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