Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) 


I have developed a unique practice out of the drafting, negotiation, and litigation of Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs), which is a sub-field within family law. A QDRO is the legal mechanism used to divide a retirement account that is qualified by the Internal Revenue Code and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). A QDRO generally refers to any court order that divides a retirement account, and results in the direct payment from the retirement plan to the non-employee (or non-account holder) former spouse.  

A QDRO is not a neutral document. There are countless types of retirement plans and multiple ways to divide and distribute assets under each plan.  Therefore, every QDRO must be carefully drafted in light of all surrounding facts and circumstances. Doing so requires an understanding of the nuances of a particular retirement plan, which can include issues such as survivorship rights, disability supplements, early retirement subsidies, delayed employer contributions, non-vested benefits, plan loans, retroactive valuation dates, timing, duration, and form of distributions, or even the distribution of benefits in the event of the non-employee spouse's death. Clients are best served when these complexities are addressed by an attorney who has experience with these issues.