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Common qualified domestic relations order mistakes

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is a document that concerns a person's pension plan and the relationship it has to one's former spouse after divorce. It is a legal document that instructs the pension plan administrator of how the pension plan shall be handled in relation to this.

This article will present a brief overview into the complexities of QDROs, and some of the most common mistakes that people make in relation to them when getting a divorce, and especially when getting an elderly divorce.

Gather all necessary retirement plan information

Many people fail to do their research before having their QDRO when going through a divorce. Make sure that you look into the details of your or your spouse's particular pension plan and explore the terms. Some plans have early buy-outs, or benefits may drop off at a certain age, for example. All of this information is extremely important when drafting an QDRO.

Don't keep the draft neutral

An QDRO is intended as a document of advocation for one of the spouses, and that spouse only. A common mistake that people make is that it forms an agreement that satisfies both sides, and eventually ends in a fall-out. In general terms, if a QDRO feels neutral, something is likely wrong.

Don't delay in writing

Make sure that the QDRO is drafted as soon as possible during the time that the divorce proceedings take place. The best time is to have this happen simultaneously with the judgement, if possible. This makes it less likely that unforeseen circumstances happen while the filing is being processed.

Source: Divorce mag, "What you should know about QRDOs," accessed Aug. 25, 2017

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