What is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order “QDRO”?
During the process of divorce among the many issues that must be resolved is the division of retirement plans. If either party has a qualified retirement plan, like a 401k or a 403b, etc., then the account typically is divided. The division of a retirement account in a divorce case is not always 50/50 however. Whether the divorce will be settled in mediation or by the court in a divorce trial, there are several factors to be considered in making such a division, and you should speak to a divorce attorney about this issue.
The Division of Retirement Accounts in a Divorce
In order to divide and distribute a retirement account, typically a Qualified Domestic Relations Order which is often referred to simply as QDRO, must be drawn by the attorney and entered by the divorce court. There are several requirements which must be met, based upon ERISA guidelines and the guidelines of the retirement fund.
The QDRO dictates how the retirement fund is to be divided and when. With some retirement accounts neither party can draw any of the funds until the participating spouse reaches the eligibility age, usually age 59.
There are many variables involved in the division of a retirement account in the event of divorce, and much depends upon the actual retirement program guidelines. Speak to a divorce lawyer about the division of retirement accounts and Qualified Domestic Relations Orders in Tennessee.