Division of Retirement Benefits | Wyatt Early Harris Wheeler LLP

Practice Area:Litigation

Division of Retirement Benefits (QDROs)

Our attorneys are knowledgeable and experienced in dividing IRAs, Defined Contribution Plans, Defined Benefit Plans such as Pensions and Government and Military Retirement Plans incident to divorce.

In order to divide certain retirement accounts between spouses in a divorce and to avoid unwanted tax consequences, the Plan Administrator or Trustee of the retirement plan may require a Qualified Domestic Relations Order that specifies how the plan benefits are to be assigned to each spouse. These Qualified Domestic Relations Orders are required by ERISA and allow the benefits to be paid directly by the plan to the other spouse.

The preparation of a QDRO, or its equivalent, can be very complicated and does require an understanding of state equitable distribution laws as well as relevant federal laws such as ERISA. The QDRO or other order must accurately and correctly set forth the assets and benefits that each party is to receive.