Start Your Divorce Today - Premium Divorce Online

Topic Options
#13829 - 06/02/05 10:40 PM QDROs
AZRN Offline
member

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 151
Does anyone have experience with having their pension attached due to divorce settlement? Specifically, I'd like to know more about how the DRO is generated as a result of divorce court proceedings.

I understand that a decree can specify that a spouse receive his or her share of a pension, but the decree is not a DRO per the pension plan admionistrators. Another document must be created--with the assistance of an attorney--for the plan itself to honor any request to share the benefit. THAT document is the QDRO (or just DRO for governmental pensions &/or those not subject to ERISA).

That being said, I assume the completing of the DRO is usually the responsibility (and expense) of the requesting party? In AZ, such forms cost $1500 to have an attorney do them... If the requesting party fails to get this done, even though the decree says he/she is entitled to pension distribution, then I don't see how the distribution can actually take place. Comments anyone?

Top
#13830 - 06/03/05 04:49 AM Re: QDROs [Re: AZRN]
Maury Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/04
Posts: 8182
Loc: This Asylum --->
A QDRO is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. It is used to divide "defined contribution plans" and "defined benefit plans." A defined contribution plan is one where the employee and sometimes the employer contribute to retirement finds. It is a defined ("specific') dollar amount. A defined benefit plan is one where if you stay with a company long enough, you recive a defined monthly amount after you retire.

In most cases, the HR department of the company will have a proposed QDRO order form that lawyers and sometimes financial planners work from to draft the QDRO. Most lawyers or finanial planners will charge between $500 and $1000 to draft such an order.

In most cases, the court order will indicate which party has the responsibility for drafting the order. In my experience, it is usually incumabant upon the non-participant party to have the order drafted.

Top
#13831 - 06/04/05 06:16 PM Re: QDROs [Re: Maury]
AZRN Offline
member

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 151
"In most cases, the court order will indicate which party has the responsibility for drafting the order. In my experience, it is usually incumabant upon the non-participant party to have the order drafted."

So theoretically, even if the court order (I assume the decree) specifies one party is entitled to share in pension, unless that party assigned actually gets the DRO drafted and filed properly, nothing's going to happen. If that party is the non-participating spouse, there certainly won't be any contempt charges to levy against the other party for failure to disburse funds!

However, I'm thinking that if the non-participating party is not able to afford the DRO fees, the participating party will get stuck paying for the priviledge of dividing his/her pension. :-(

Top
#13832 - 07/09/05 02:44 AM Re: QDROs [Re: AZRN]
JBHope Offline
recently joined

Registered: 07/08/05
Posts: 3
Loc: Seattle area
The clue here is to check with the Human Resources department of your employer. They probably have a sample QDRO they will give you which you could use--fill in the blanks--to complete it. These forms usually ask for info about the employee (who is the payee of the pension plan) and the soon-to-be-ex-spouse, who will become the "alternate payee" of that portion of the plan which will be set aside for him/her. Your negotiations with your spouse and counsel will determine what that is. Seems to me that the person who filed for the dissolution usually pays for the final orders, which includes the QDRO.

Top
#13833 - 07/10/05 03:32 PM Re: QDROs [Re: JBHope]
Karen1 Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 1804
Loc: Ohio
JB... in my case, stbx left, 20 months later I filed for the divorce I did not want. We need 2 QDRO's, one for his pension plan and one for a 401 thrift savings plan. We are splitting the cost of this, in fact he has already paid his share per notice I got yesterday and I will now pay my share.

Your advice on checking with HR dept is excellant. I did that with stbx employer and received info that put my mind at ease regarding my share of his pension, how it is protected in the event either of us dies before he retires. i found that I will have my own account, can appoint a beneficiary for my account in the event I die before he retires, and that should he die before he retires, my account is still there and not lost due to his death.

When he does retire I will have 3 options, taking lump sum, monthly payments or combo of both.

I will not completely be at ease with this until he retires in 4 years and the plan becomes action.

Karen
_________________________
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened".

Top
#13834 - 07/12/05 04:23 PM Re: QDROs [Re: JBHope]
AZRN Offline
member

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 151
"Seems to me that the person who filed for the dissolution usually pays for the final orders, which includes the QDRO"

She left him and wants him to file/pay for divorce, which he is in the process of doing. Why should he be stuck paying for the QDRO (which costs quite a bit more) to secure her rights in his pension? If she wants those rights, she should have to pay for the QDRO, IMO.

He's stating in his petition that he gets to keep his pension (they were married for 5 years), so if she wants any of it, she'll have to file a response at her expense, and later, a DRO with the pension fund.

Top
#13835 - 07/12/05 09:54 PM Ah, but if the wording of the order [Re: AZRN]
Melody Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/03/04
Posts: 10102
Loc: California
indicates that the spouse who has the pension benefit must execute the QDRO for the other spouse to obtain their portion of the benefit, then the obligation is on the spouse who has the pension.

Top
#13836 - 07/13/05 02:39 AM Re: QDROs [Re: AZRN]
Karen1 Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 1804
Loc: Ohio
In our case we have to get 2 QDRO'S... the cost of each is 350.00, and as we are splitting the cost we each will only pay 350.00.

Seems a small price to pay to me. My monthly check on his pension will be somewhere near 1000.00 a month from the date he retires until the day I die, and will also get half, about 40,000.00 from the 401 thrift plan. Will actually be the best 350.00 i have ever spent!
_________________________
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened".

Top



Resources & Tools
Start Your Divorce Online Start Your Divorce
Several Options to Get Started Today.
Divorce Tools Online Divorce Tools
Keeping it Simple to Get the Job Done.
Divorce Downloads Download Center
Instantly Download Books, Guides & Forms.
Divorce and Custody Books Discount Books
Over 100 of the Best Divorce & Custody Books.
Negotiate Online Negotiate Online
Settle your Divorce and Save.
Custody and Support Tracking Custody Scheduling
Make Sure You Document Everything.

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code: