Going through a divorce means that you have to divide up all the assets that you accumulated during the marriage. There are many things that are included in this, such as the house, vehicles, investment accounts and retirement accounts.
Splitting most of these up doesn’t require anything special. Dividing the retirement accounts might mean that you need a qualified domestic relations order. This is a special document from the court that outlines how the account must be handled.
How does the QDRO work?
When the judge issues a QDRO, it goes to the plan administrator. The plan administrator reviews it to ensure that it’s valid and can be executed as stated. If there are any issues with it, they will return it to the court for clarification.
There are limits to what the QDRO can do. It can only cover what’s provided by the plan. There can’t be a required increase in benefits. This is why it’s important for the plan administrator to review the document.
Once the plan administrator approves the QDRO, the retirement account must be divided in accordance with the terms. It’s important to remember that this is only one aspect of property division, so you have to balance it out with the rest of the terms.
It’s imperative that you understand specific points about property division. Making sure that you have everything in order helps to ensure that you get what’s due to you at the end of your marriage. By working with someone who’s familiar with cases similar to yours, you can reap the benefit of that knowledge. This can reduce your stress as you start to plan your new life.