There are several difficult realities that both parties must face when divorce is imminent. To…
As a family lawyer, you may ask yourself “Why do I need to hire a QDRO expert?”
Simply put, to provide the highest level of service to clients and avoid malpractice. The division of marital assets during divorce is dictated by state law. However, the division of retirement assets (and/or assigning alternate payees) is governed by federal law and is subject to certain I.R.S. tax code requirements.
And for your clients, who may ask, “What is a QDRO?” or “Do I need a QDRO?” thoughtful handling is an imperative if retirement assets will be divided through divorce. Without a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or a “QDRO”, an alternate payee (e.g., a former spouse) will not have rights to some types of pension and retirement plan benefits without a QDRO, even if allocation of retirement benefits is included in the divorce agreement. In short, pension and retirement plan alternate payees are not legally recognized by a retirement plan’s administrator without a QDRO.
Preparing a QDRO is oftentimes beyond the scope of the general family law practice. Even lawyers with some QDRO experience are aware of the time and cost efficiencies they gain by having a skilled neutral party prepare needed QDROs. They also enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing they took action to prepare for a smooth review with plan administrators.
Erin K. Colgan Law offers QDRO preparation services to lawyers and firms as they handle the division of retirement assets in divorce agreements. Erin’s team is well versed in all-things QDRO and make it easier for divorce attorneys to successfully handle the division of retirement assets for their divorcing clients.
Our team provides guidance to family lawyers to help them to preserve their client’s marital assets, protect an alternate payee, and avoid malpractice. We assist with them in pre-trial discovery concerns, such as the nature and breadth of client’s or their spouse’s retirement benefits, plan details, survivorship options and loans, and related topics. We help to identify tax issues, use a QDRO to collect support arrears, choose the best option regarding survivor benefits, and offset other assets.
We also help family lawyers to adopt the language that best fits the terms of their agreement, ensuring that the QDRO approval process with the plan administrator runs smoothly. As a neutral party, we can prepare your QDRO to reflect the terms you have already agreed to. If hired separately, we can propose language to best suit your client’s needs. We draft orders that are conforming and accurate, and you can use them to strengthen your service delivery and gain time efficiency to move the divorce forward with a minimum of delay.
To learn more about our QDRO services for attorneys, call us at 718-981-5505.