What is a QDRO? Retirement account division in a divorce

Some of your marital assets are fairly easy to divide during your Tennessee divorce negotiations. However, your spouse's retirement accounts are not as straightforward, with the possibilities of taxes, penalties and other problems looming if things are not done just right. According to FindLaw, one tool often used in these situations is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.

The court issues this judgment officially approving the retirement plan division agreement. One of the benefits of the QDRO is that these transfers are not penalized for the early withdrawal. 

Drafting a QDRO can be quite complex, and its contents will be specific to your situation. Simply requesting a form from the administrator of the plan and filling it out could lead to serious mistakes. Because this document affects the disbursement of the money from the account to you for child support and/or spousal support, it is essential to ensure that no errors are made. 

In the QDRO, you must include the name of the plan, the name of the participant and your name as the alternate payee. The document must also have the percentage or amount you are to receive, or the method used to figure that percentage or amount. There is usually a set number of payments or a designated time period that you will receive from the plan, and this information will also be covered by the order. 

This information about QDROs is general in nature, and is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.

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