A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (also known as a QDRO or Quadro) is the court order used to divide retirement accounts in a divorce. While the divorce decree will order the division of marital property and may award one spouse an interest in the other spouse’s retirement account, the decree alone is often insufficient when it comes to transferring the funds.
Many retirement accounts are governed by complex federal law (specifically ERISA) and require a QDRO when dividing the account after a divorce. The QDRO is a separate order signed by the judge after the divorce decree has been filed by the court. A certified copy of the QDRO is then sent to the retirement account’s plan administrator who will process the order. Due to the complexities of the law governing retirement accounts it is important to have an experienced family law attorney draft your Qualified Domestic Relations Order. At Lewis Kannegieter Law, Ltd. we have experience drafting QDROs for several different retirement plans.