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#416644 - 07/21/08 05:46 AM Fed Gov't QDRO Agreed/Sign but Never Filed w/Court
anthonyjamesw Offline
recently joined

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 3
Retired from us military over two-years ago. Married over 15-wonderful years and my FS gets nearly 40% of my retirement. FS remarried again within months of decree approval/Court Judges Signature. But, come to find out after all the divorce documents & decree were agreed to and signed …my FS’s fed gov’t Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) was never entered into court for Judge’s final approval. After I inquired about this…NOW, my FS’s attorney said, they wish to enter their fed gov’t (plan administered approved?) QDRO to the court for final motion. I considered this process an underhanded, unethical approach, back door process….an after-the-fact by FS’s attorney and maybe a good case study, intervention, and admonishment from the bar association.

My attorney said, she totally disagrees with this “new proposed QDRO.” In “good faith” and with “good consideration” the original fed gov’t QDRO was agreed to by all parties, but was never submitted to the Court Judge for final approval/signature. FS’s attorney said the QDRO plan administrator (for fed gov’t) would not accept the original fed gov’t QDRO as written? But, my attorney said, she has done these fed gov’t QDRO for years….and has never had a problem with the fed gov’t accepting her QDRO as written and more importantly it is what was previously agree to and signed, by both parties at time of agreement. Also, there are direct QDRO references stated clearly in the court approved/Judge signed formal divorce decree.

1. If additional court proceedings are required to resolve the case, who should be responsible for additional attorney fees, courts costs? 2. Should originally fed gov’t QDRO stand as agreed to and written, by both parties? 3. Was thinking about sending in the original QDRO myself to fed gov’t plan administer to see if indeed, it would be accepted? I already paid my attorney to complete this QDRO once. Why should i pay for it again?

Anyways, if you can give advice it would be appreciated.


Edited by anthonyjamesw (07/21/08 05:48 AM)

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#416645 - 07/30/08 05:26 AM Re: Fed Gov't QDRO Agreed/Sign but Never Filed w/Court [Re: anthonyjamesw]
Maury Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/04
Posts: 8182
Loc: This Asylum --->
Actually, a QDRO is often a separate order submitted aftre the divore is complete. Of course, the divorce decree must address the disposition of the asset.

If the plan administrator would not accept the QDRO as written (which happens quite a bit), it must be rewritten. THere is nothing underhanded about that. However, the result should be the same as the result agreed upon in court, although the language may have to be changed to make it work.

The QDRO must comply with the requirements of the plan whether it is a Federal Government plan or not. The Feds need not accept a QDRO that does not satisfy trhe plan requirements.

Attorneys fees are unlikely to be awarded if the QDRO was denied and there is reasonable conflict on how it must be rewritten.
.

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#416646 - 08/03/08 11:36 AM Re: Fed Gov't QDRO Agreed/Sign but Never Filed w/Court [Re: Maury]
anthonyjamesw Offline
recently joined

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 3
- In the absence of any further argument/further litigation (more money..haha), and based from approved & entered MSA and Divorce Decree alone, I should be awarded: 1). 50% of Annuity Entitlement (based on # of years married) 2). Survivor Annuity Benefits and 3). Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA).

Decree states:
“Fifty percent (50%) of Sally Jones’ Federal Employees Retirement System annuity entitlement, together with survivor annuity benefits, as more particularly specified in the Domestic Relations Order signed coincident with this decree and incorporated verbatim herein by reference.”

References:
a. “Absent clear language regarding the allocation of the cost of this annuity, OPM automatically allocates cost on a pro-rata basis using the Member’s “Gross Annuity”, for this calculation. The “Gross Annuity” is the “Self-Only Annuity” less the cost of the Survivor Annuity. The prudent attorney will specify how the cost of the Survivor Annuity is to be allocated between spouses.”

b. “If the allocation of benefits provision of your Order is silent on Post-retirement COLA, then the Former Spouse automatically participates in this valuable benefit. To bar a Former Spouse’s participation in this entitlement your Order must affirmatively and specifically state that the Former Spouse is not to participate in post-retirement COLA.”


Edited by anthonyjamesw (08/03/08 11:41 AM)

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#416647 - 08/05/08 03:06 AM Re: Fed Gov't QDRO Agreed/Sign but Never Filed w/Court [Re: anthonyjamesw]
Maury Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/04
Posts: 8182
Loc: This Asylum --->
If the QDRO was approved by the parties in the divorce and by the court, and it was approved by the plan administartor (here apparently a federal agency), then the matter shoudl be over and the QDRO submitted for division. If it was rejected by the plan adminsitrator, then the QDRO must be redrafted in keeping with the prior court order so that it will be accepted.

I know many plans will not accept a QDRO that specifies a percentage and, instead, many require a sum specific amount either monthly (for a defined benefit plan) or in total (for a defined contribution plan).

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#416648 - 08/05/08 06:57 AM Re: Fed Gov't QDRO Agreed/Sign but Never Filed w/Court [Re: Maury]
anthonyjamesw Offline
recently joined

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 3
Actually, it was a DRO…..and like I said above, all documents were agreed upon by all parties during mediation (MSA, decree, mil ret DRO, fed gov’t DRO). But, when FS went to file the documents with the court, FS never file/entered the fed gov’t DRO with the court for approval and signature. Now….one-year later after being prompted, FS and her attorney wish to change the language “change the intent” of the fed gov’t DRO. My attorney disagrees with this unethical approach as said; the original was negotiated in “good faith” and with “good consideration.” and should be submitted as agreed upon. That is why I explained…..this approach seems somewhat underhanded. It was left up to FS and attorney to enter the documents for the court/judges’ signature but unbeknownst to us, FS’s fed gov’t DRO was never entered by either FS or her attorney. I guess my attorney trusted FS’s attorney to ensure the fed gov’t DRO was file/entered in the court along with the other documents...but, the FS’s fed gov’t DRO was never submitted. All the other documents were indeed submitted. Thus, this fact/point now is being litigated…which fed gov’t DRO should be sent to the court for approval. I was never told or ask to appear in count too ensure these documents were indeed submitted for the judges/courts signature, to finalize.


Edited by anthonyjamesw (08/05/08 07:04 AM)

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#416649 - 08/15/08 12:41 AM Re: Fed Gov't QDRO Agreed/Sign but Never Filed w/Court [Re: anthonyjamesw]
jaiye Offline
old hand

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 860
according to my attorney almost all retirement plans have a templet for their plans that can be followed in drafting the QDRO. My attorney contacted my X's pension plans and they sent him the templete which he used to draft it and it went through with no problem.

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#416650 - 08/16/08 03:20 PM Re: Fed Gov't QDRO Agreed/Sign but Never Filed w/Court [Re: anthonyjamesw]
Miranda Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 20822
Loc: North of Mexico
Wouldn't this just go through DFAS with the typical division formula?
_________________________
13.1...because I am only half crazy!

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#416651 - 11/30/09 05:28 PM Re: Fed Gov't QDRO Agreed/Sign but Never Filed w/C [Re: Miranda]
Wife02 Offline

recently joined

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 3
My husband was divorced in 2002. In his papers it states that his former spouse is to receive 48% of his retirement and the court will enter a QDRO reflecting these findings. Now, 7 yrs later, we receive a letter from her attorney stating that she has filed for her portion of the retirement, which by the way, started Nov. 1 2009, and yet another letter stating that we are being sued for backpay of the retirement from 2002. We are having to pay over $40,000.00 in back pay. He also stated that he had contacted the court and they told him that the QDRO was sent(at the time of divorce), but "must have gotten lost in the mail". Isn't that amazing?

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