QDROs, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, are drafted by an attorney, and signed by the judge, usually after the divorce is final. The purpose of the QDRO is to provide one spouse with a portion (usually half) of the other spouse's retirement account due to the fact that the retirement account is marital property. In a divorce, we divide pretty much everything right? Well, that normally includes retirement accounts.
But retirement accounts present the problem of taxes and penalties if funds are withdrawn from them prior to retirement. A QDRO allows the spouse receiving a portion of the other spouse's retirement to receive those funds without penalty, PROVIDED that the funds are kept in a similar retirement account and not withdrawn as cash.
Most attorneys hate drafting QDROs for a variety of reasons, primarily because there are numerous pitfalls in the language that is used. The following case illustrates how important it is to monitor the precise language in your QDRO.
Here's the link...