What Are the the Basic Requirements for a QDRO?

Question: I got divorced from my husband in June and he has a 401(k) with his company. I know I need to get a QDRO to split his retirement. I can definitely use the money and I'm sure I'll need it even more in the future. I need to support myself and we have a child with autism, so it's important.

I know you are QDRO lawyers and can help me get it done. I know it's very complicated and I need experts.

My husband's already moved on and he's engaged to a lady he met at work. So I'm sure he won't be thinking of us much and he never really had time for his mentally handicapped child even when we were married.

We lived in Johns Creek and we got divorced in Fulton County. Now I live in Alpharetta and he moved to Sandy Springs.

He's worked at his company in Atlanta for over 25 years, ever since he graduated from Georgia State University. He got a degree in accounting. He started with them as a trainee and now he leads a sales team and he travels a lot around the country.

I think he has a lot of money in that retirement account, easily over $100.000, maybe a lot more. That's why I want to move quickly and get the QDRO done so I don't have to worry about it. I'd like the money from him as soon as I can get it because I need it.

Can you please tell me what the requirements for a QDRO are? I need an Atlanta QDRO lawyer.

D.L., in Johns Creek, GA

Answer: Obviously, a qualified domestic relations order is a complex document that requires several approvals, including from the plan and the court, before it can take legal effect. If any part of the QDRO is not perfect, it will be rejected.

However, some specific QDRO requirements are contained in the law known as ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended.

Under the law, a QDRO must contain the following:

  • The specific name of each plan (Fidelity, Vanguard, etc.) to which the order applies,
  • The full name and last known mailing address of the participant (in this case your husband) and the alternate payee (that would be you),
  • The number of payments or time period to which the order applies, and
  • The precise dollar amount or exact percentage (or the method of determining the amount of percentage) of the benefit to be paid to the alternate payee.

As QDRO attorneys we can help you with the preparation and review of all qualified domestic relations orders. Just call us at (678) 712-8561.

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