If you plan to ask for a share of your spouse’s retirement benefits, you need a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). The QDRO is a court order written by an attorney mutually hired by the couple. It orders the retirement plan to pay you a specified share of the benefits based on the terms of your divorce agreement. The QDRO is then submitted to the court for the judge’s signature. Pending approval from the judge, it is then sent to the retirement plan administrator.
Why is this so IMPORTANT?
Failing to execute a QDRO properly could leave you without retirement benefits that you would have otherwise been entitled to or had agreed upon in your separation agreement.