QDRO stands for Qualified Domestic Relations Order and is used to divide retirements contributed to during a marriage after a divorce. The QDRO is a special order that is usually created during or after the decree of divorce. There is nothing in ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) that requires that a QDRO be issued as a separate judgment, decree, or order. Therefore, a QDRO may be included as part of a divorce decree or court-approved property settlement, or issued as a separate order, without affecting its qualified status. The order must satisfy the requirements described above to be a QDRO.
A QDRO can be is a judgment, decree, or order (including the approval of a property settlement) that is made pursuant to Nevada family law and that relates to the provision of child support, alimony payments, or marital property rights for the benefit of a spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent of a participant.
A Nevada court, must actually issue a judgment, order, or decree or otherwise formally approve a property settlement agreement before it can be a domestic relations order under ERISA. The mere fact that a property settlement is agreed to and signed by the parties will not, in and of itself, cause the agreement to be a domestic relations order.
There is no requirement that both parties to a marital proceeding sign or otherwise endorse or approve an order. It is also not necessary that the retirement plan be brought into Nevada court or made a party to a divorce proceeding for an order issued in that proceeding to be a domestic relations order or a qualified domestic relations order. Because Nevada law is generally preempted to the extent that it relates to retirement plans, the United States Department of Labor takes the position that retirement plans cannot be joined as a party in family law proceeding pursuant to Nevada law. Moreover, retirement plans are neither permitted nor required to follow the terms of domestic relations orders purporting to assign retirement benefits unless they are QDROs.
If your divorce involves large assets, such as retirement accounts, it is important to discuss your matter with a Las Vegas family law attorney that can navigate the laws and the family court procedures as well as negotiate and litigate on your behalf. Call us to schedule an inexpensive consultation.
When you have a high asset divorce case, do not expect good results will come from being cheap.
You must consult an attorney who can handle QDROs. The Wright Law Offices can refer you to experts in the field, but we do not prepare them ourselves.
The information contained in this blog is for general information only and is not intended to be legal advice for any specific person or scenario. The best advice is to always consult an attorney in order to have confidentiality and privilege.
For the right lawyers to handle your family legal matter, contact The Wright Law Offices, PC
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