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Staten Island QDRO Solutions for Attorneys

QDRO Solutions For Attorneys: Dividing Retirement Assets for Divorcing Clients – Erin K. Colgan, P.C.

QDRO Solutions For AttorneysWe also provide QDRO preparation services for other attorneys. Trust us to handle these complex orders precisely and professionally, helping clients secure their entitled benefits.

If you are like most family lawyers, it is unlikely that you are experienced in pension valuations and the preparation of Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, known as “QDROs.” A QDRO creates or recognizes the existence of an alternate payee’s right to receive any portion of a retirement asset. Because retirement benefits are often the largest asset in a marriage, it is important to understand how to successfully handle retirement benefit division in divorce agreements. Pension valuation and the preparation of QDROs are necessary to successfully handle the retirement benefit division.

At Erin K. Colgan, P.C. we have deep experience in pension valuation and all aspects surrounding the division of retirement assets in divorce. We offer law firms and attorneys cost-effective and time-efficient solutions for calculating pension valuations, preparing QDROs, and adopting the appropriate language in the divorce agreements they prepare, as well as related guidance and solutions.

FAQ About QDRO Solutions for Lawyers Staten Island

At Erin K. Colgan, P.C., we specialize in QDRO preparation and have established ourselves as a leading QDRO divorce lawyer in Staten Island. Our firm provides comprehensive QDRO services tailored to the unique needs of attorneys representing clients undergoing divorce. Our expertise as Staten Island divorce lawyers and family law attorneys allows us to handle the complexities of the pension division with precision and care.

The advantages of utilizing our QDRO services include:

  • Expertise: As seasoned QDRO lawyers, we possess deep knowledge of state and federal regulations governing retirement accounts, ensuring compliance and accurate orders.
  • Efficiency: We streamline the QDRO process, reducing your firm’s administrative burden and speeding up the overall divorce proceedings for your clients.
  • Customized Solutions: Each QDRO is tailored to meet the divorcing couple’s specific needs, considering their case’s unique factors and the retirement plans involved.
  • Coordination: We work closely with the plan administrators to ensure that the QDROs are pre-approved, minimizing the chances of rejection.

Choosing Erin K. Colgan, P.C. means opting for a partner who understands the importance of detail and accuracy in the division of retirement benefits.

Erin K. Colgan, P.C. handles QDROs for both in-state and out-of-state retirement plans. Our team of experienced QDRO attorneys is well-versed in the nuances of national regulations governing retirement plans, which enables us to effectively manage QDRO preparation for any plan across the United States. Whether you are a Staten Island family lawyer or a divorce attorney needing assistance with a local or out-of-state QDRO, we have the expertise to ensure that the division of retirement assets is handled accurately and in compliance with all applicable laws. Our goal is to provide seamless service to our fellow attorneys and their clients, regardless of the location of the retirement plan administrator.

In the event that a QDRO is rejected by a plan administrator, Erin K. Colgan, P.C., as your dedicated QDRO lawyer, will take immediate steps to address and resolve the issues. Our process includes:

  • Review and Analysis: We meticulously review the administrator’s feedback to understand the reasons for rejection.
  • Modification and Resubmission: We promptly adjust the QDRO according to the administrator’s guidelines and resubmit the document.
  • Continuous Communication: Our team maintains open lines of communication with both the plan administrator and our client to ensure that all parties are updated and informed throughout the correction process.

Our expertise as seasoned Staten Island divorce attorneys and family law specialists ensures that we minimize the risk of rejections and handle any that occur swiftly and effectively.

At Erin K. Colgan, P.C., we pride ourselves on transparency and fairness in all our legal services, including our QDRO preparation. The cost of our QDRO service is competitively priced and varies depending on the complexity of the retirement plans involved and the specifics of the case. As dedicated QDRO lawyers in Staten Island, we provide an initial consultation to discuss the details of the QDRO requirements and provide a clear and concise fee structure upfront.

Our fees are designed to provide value by ensuring the QDRO is prepared correctly and efficiently, avoiding costly delays and potential legal challenges. For detailed information on our fees and to get a customized quote, we encourage attorneys to contact us directly at (718) 981-5505. We look forward to assisting you with your QDRO needs and ensuring the best outcomes for your clients.

Areas We Serve - QDRO Solutions for Lawyers Staten Island

Contact Erin K. Colgan, P.C., Staten Island's Premier Uncontested Divorce Lawyer and Certified Mediator Today

Richmond County Family Lawyers – Pension Valuation and QDRO Preparation Services

Our team is well-versed in defined contribution plan valuations based on either the subtraction or tracing method. We are also skilled in valuing defined benefit plans for our clients. We prepare and deliver valuations of public and private pension and related assets and draft conforming and accurate QDROs. We offer cost- and time-efficient solutions directly to our divorcing clients and law firms and practitioners with divorcing clients who need to evaluate and/or divide retirement assets.

We work with our attorney clients behind the scenes to help them preserve their client’s marital assets, protect an alternate payee, and avoid malpractice. We assist in pre-trial discovery concerns, such as the nature and breadth of their client’s or their spouse’s retirement benefits, plan details, survivorship options and loans, and related areas of concern. We help to identify tax issues, use a QDRO to collect support arrears, choose the best option regarding survivor benefits, and offset other assets.

QDRO Preparation

At Erin K. Colgan, P.C., we draft QDROs that are conforming and accurate. Use them as part of the divorce service you provide as you move the divorce process forward with a minimum of delay. We understand the QDRO process and provide step-by-step guidance to help you submit the QDRO and ensure the review with a plan administrator runs smoothly. Our firm is familiar with most local NYC and NY State plans as well as military and federal government benefits. We are dedicated to helping attorneys draft sound agreements to protect their client and their assets. We also work as a neutral to best advise the attorneys to reach their mutual outcome of a well-drafted agreement that illustrates their settlement so that the QDRO process is smooth and without surprises. To learn more about why lawyers should hire an independent QDRO expert, click here.

We help our attorney clients adopt the language that best suits the terms of their agreement, ensuring that the QDRO approval process with the plan administrator runs smoothly. As neutrals, we can work to have your QDRO reflect the negotiated terms already agreed upon. Hired separately, we can propose language to best suit your client’s specific needs.

Every QDRO is Unique

We are knowledgeable and skilled in a broad range of pension and retirement benefit plan types, including:

Military Pensions

Military laws influence the way that a QDRO can be applied, and while the division of assets is like a QDRO, the division of military benefits is in a category of its own. Our team is well-versed in navigating the restrictions placed on access to information about military pensions, the 10/10 active-duty rule, and reallocation rules for accrued benefits to former spouses.

Federal Pensions

Federal benefits are excluded from QDRO agreements since they are not private sector pensions and do not fall under ERISA, essentially making up another category all its own. Oftentimes, a federal pension can reflect a large portion of marital assets, making their division necessary. However, federal benefits can include a pension, lifelong annuity payouts and in some cases, health insurance – all benefits a divorcing spouse would want to keep.

Most federal employment questions are based on the “spouse equity” principle. The government requires a subpoena to release information and does not offer guidance on creating a court order to request a division of benefits. The Erin K. Colgan, P.C. team offers a wealth of experience in the division of federal retirement benefits and provides matrimonial lawyers with a complete back-end solution to draft and complete all related court orders.

State Local Pension

One of the more complicated types of orders is one aimed at dividing a state or local pension benefit. The New York State Court of Appeals held that a state retirement pension can be considered marital property, and therefore, the state will honor a QDRO that is properly prepared and then issued to it by a New York State Court.

However, it is important to note that while the government will accept the QDRO to divide a state pension or benefit as a government plan, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act does not protect the same benefit, which only applies to private pensions. Therefore, the only person who holds natural rights of membership to any plan within the State Retirement System is the members themselves.

The spouse of the pension holder does not have any protections or rights unless outlined in the submitted and approved QDRO. If the rights are not explicitly outlined in the QDRO following the divorce they will have no rights or protections regarding that government pension plan. Therefore, it is vital that a knowledgeable firm draws up the QDRO and includes protective language so that the ex-spouse is protected throughout the division of the pension.


The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 is designed to protect an ex-spouse’s interest in his or her spouse’s pension and retirement plan. It applies to all private pension plans, covering a wide berth of employer-sponsored pension and retirement plans. The law creates a pathway for an ex-spouse to claim the right to the asset following divorce via the QDRO.

401 (k) Plan

There are several different categories of plans, each with its own set of options and rules concerning gains, losses, beneficiaries, pre and post survivorship, etc. For a QDRO to be approved and allow an ex-spouse access to a 401(k), it must be consistent with the rules of the specific retirement plan (which vary by plan and employer), satisfy both state and federal law, and be viewed as favorable by retirement plan managers who can be picky, and detail oriented.

The Pitfalls of Do-it-yourself QDROs

A QDRO is a very specific order that must be filed in a timely manner to be effective. The language used within the QDRO has both the ability to support and ruin the ability of a spouse to collect on their ex-spouse’s 401(k). Therefore, preparation by a QDRO provider is strongly encouraged.

Pitfalls for lawyers that take a DIY approach to drafting QDROs include:

  • Poorly written language.
  • Incomplete language.
  • Not providing all options to clients.
  • Being unfamiliar with the retirement plan.
  • Using a standard form.
  • Lapse in time between the divorce agreement and submission of QDRO.

For help with a client’s pension valuation or to order a QDRO, phone us at (718) 981-5505.

Get Expert New York QDRO Help & Focus on What Matters Most: Your Clients – Contact Us Today!

At Erin K. Colgan, P.C., we understand the complexities involved in handling Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs). As leading QDRO attorneys in Staten Island, we offer specialized services that ensure the precise division of retirement assets, adhering to both federal and state laws. Our expert team, consisting of experienced Staten Island divorce lawyers and family law attorneys, is here to manage all QDRO-related processes, allowing you to focus on what matters most—your clients.

Why spend valuable time navigating the intricacies of retirement plans? Let us handle the details. Contact us today at (718) 981-5505, fill out our online contact form, or visit our website for more information. Partner with Erin K. Colgan, P.C., and ensure your clients receive the diligent and expert QDRO services they deserve.

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