A QDRO is a qualified domestic relations order. This is an order regarding retirement accounts. In a divorce, retirement accounts are frequently the subject of equitable distribution. Each party would be entitled to their marital share of the other’s retirement accounts. An evaluation is performed using what is known as the Majauskas formula. This formula is from a landmark case. Majauskas versus Majauskas. The formula determines which portion of the retirement account is marital and which is not. It also determines (depending on the length of the marriage) to how much each spouse is entitled.
Should the parties have very similar retirement accounts they may choose to waive their pension rights. This results in a savings to them in that they do not have to pay for the evaluation or the drafting of the order.
Often when parties are fairly young, they put off having the QDRO drafted and then try to have it done later. Then when they are getting closer to retirement, they find that their former spouse has borrowed against their account or depleted it. It is very important to start the process immediately so as not to run into that problem!
Each plan has different rules and regulations. You should consult with the administrator of your particular plan. Not all lawyers or law firms draft QDROs, but there are firms that specialize in just that. They will help you through the process so that you can be confident that when it comes times to collect, the funds will be there for you!
Deborah E. Kaminetzky, Esq.
Kaminetzky Law & Mediation, P.C.
132 Spruce Street
Cedarhurst, New York 11516