QDRO and other Retirement Plan Services

Preparation – $850

Many retirement plans require court orders to divide them in a divorce.  These orders are often referred to as Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, and are commonly referred to as QDROs (pronounced “QUAD-ro”).

Most Nevada government employees receive benefits from the Public Employee Retirement System of Nevada (“PERS”).  The most common PERS benefit is the retirement pension, which requires a QDRO in order for the benefit to be divided.

The QDRO is a court order that directs the benefit provider how to divide the benefit based on the circumstances of the parties.  Nevada law applies the time rule when dividing retirement benefits.  This means the court uses a calculation where they divide the number of years of service during the marriage by the number of total years of service to determine the community property share.

In order for the benefit provider to pay the former spouse directly, a QDRO must be entered with the court and submitted to the provider.

QDROs can be huge malpractice traps for attorneys.  A divorce decree is ineffective to assert a right to benefits.  A QDRO must be prepared.  If you fail to advise your client of this and something happens, such as the other party dying, your client would likely be shut out of their benefit.  It is best to do QDROs in conjunction with the divorce decree, or immediately thereafter.

There are numerous types of retirement accounts that require a specific court order, including pensions, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and deferred compensation accounts.  IRAs usually do not require QDROs.  It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the protection of retirement benefits, so if you are not sure if you need a QDRO, ask.

Family Law Solutions can alleviate the risk to spouses and attorneys by preparing the QDRO or retirement division order.

Other retirement accounts (IRA, 401(k), 403(b), etc.) require a court order.

Family Law Solutions can alleviate this risk by preparing the QDRO or retirement division order.