Who Files the QDRO in a Divorce?
A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is a legal document that outlines how retirement benefits will be divided between divorcing parties. It is essential to understand the process of filing a QDRO and who is responsible for doing so during a divorce.
In most cases, the attorney representing the spouse who is entitled to a portion of the retirement benefits will be responsible for preparing and filing the QDRO. This attorney will work closely with the plan administrator to ensure that the QDRO meets all the necessary requirements.
FAQs about Who Files the QDRO:
1. What is a QDRO?
A QDRO is a legal document that allows the division of retirement benefits between divorcing parties.
2. Who is entitled to a portion of the retirement benefits?
Typically, the spouse who did not earn the retirement benefits during the marriage is entitled to a portion of those benefits.
3. Who prepares the QDRO?
The attorney representing the spouse entitled to a portion of the retirement benefits is responsible for preparing the QDRO.
4. Can I file the QDRO myself?
While it is possible to file the QDRO yourself, it is highly recommended to seek legal assistance from an experienced family law attorney.
5. What happens if the QDRO is not filed?
If the QDRO is not filed, the non-employee spouse may not receive their rightful share of the retirement benefits.
6. How long does it take to file a QDRO?
The timeframe for filing a QDRO can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the cooperation of the plan administrator. It can take several weeks to several months to complete the process.
7. Can the QDRO be filed before the divorce is finalized?
Yes, the QDRO can be filed before the divorce is finalized, but it cannot be approved until the divorce is complete.
8. Who approves the QDRO?
The plan administrator, typically the employer or the financial institution managing the retirement plan, must approve the QDRO.
9. What happens after the QDRO is approved?
Once the QDRO is approved, the retirement plan administrator will begin distributing the designated portion of the benefits to the non-employee spouse as outlined in the document.
In conclusion, the attorney representing the spouse entitled to a portion of the retirement benefits is responsible for preparing and filing the QDRO during a divorce. It is crucial to seek legal assistance to ensure that the QDRO meets all the necessary requirements. Failing to file a QDRO can result in the non-employee spouse not receiving their rightful share of the retirement benefits. The process of filing a QDRO can be time-consuming, so it is advisable to begin the process as early as possible.