What do I need to know about a QRDO?
The QDRO process can take months to complete making it very important the process is started as soon as possible. Following is a timeline of the process you should expect when filing a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.
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- An attorney experienced in drafting Domestic Relations Orders is identified and engaged by the parties.
- The QDRO Specialist drafts the Domestic Relations Order in accordance with specific plan provisions and the agreements reached by parties to the proceedings.
- The parties, together with their respective attorneys and financial experts review and approve the draft document.
- The Draft Qualified Domestic Relations Order is submitted to the Plan Administrator for pre-approval.
- The Plan Administrator responds to the drafter with any necessary revisions.
- Requested revisions are made to the QDRO and the revised copy is sent to parties and attorneys for review and signature.
- The approved QDRO is signed by both parties and sent to the court for the judge’s signature.
- A copy of the singed and court certified Qualified Domestic Relations Order is sent to attorneys or parties.
- The certified singed copy of the QDRO must be sent to the Plan Administrator for processing. Some QDRO experts will send the approved document to the plan administrator for the clients. Make sure you know who will take on the responsibility and do not make assumptions.
- The Plan Administrator will send a letter to the participant and alternate payee with instructions on how to access the plan and a timeline for completion of the division. It may be necessary for the Alternate Payee to stipulate an outside account for benefits to be rolled to.
- The Plan Administrator calculates the division of the plan pursuant to the QDRO and creates a separate account for the Alternate Payee.
- The Alternate Payee will receive confirmation that their benefits have been partitioned into a separate account or rolled over into the account previously stipulated.
For more information about the Qualified Domestic Relations Order and how it can affect you, visit our article Retirement Accounts & Divorce: Why you need a QDRO.
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