THE QDRO PROCESS

STEP 1 - Information Gathering

First, we need the personal information about both spouses on the Intake Form. 

 

We also need:

  • a copy of the divorce judgment or separation agreement (or both) so we know what share is going to each party,

  • a recent plan statement and,

  • if available a copy of the Summary Plan Description and QDRO Procedures.

We'll reach out to the Plan Administrator for QDRO Procedures and the Plan's Summary Plan Description if you don't have these to provide to us.

Step 2 - Drafting the (Q)DRO

Once we have all the data we need, we will draft your Q()DRO. We make every effort to accomplish this step within 10-14 business days of receipt of all requested information and our fee.

Step 3 - Pre-Approval by You and the Plan 

We'll send the (Q)DRO Packet (the Division Summary, Proposed (Q)DRO, Attachments and Instructions for next steps) to the attorneys/parties.  

We'll send the proposed (Q)DRO to the Plan for preliminary review.  (It can take up to 30-45 days to hear back from the Plan.) 

The proposed (Q)DRO is always ready to enter with the Court if waiting for the Plan's conditional pre-approval isn't ideal.

NOTE: Once the Proposed (Q)DRO is acceptable to the parties/attorneys, we are no longer part of the Process unless otherwise retained.

Step 4 - Revision of the Proposed (Q)DRO.

The draft of the QDRO is sent to the retirement plan administrator (when applicable) and to you and/or your attorney for pre-approval. If your divorce was mediated, or if both parties are hiring us a neutral, we will send it to the other spouse and mediator as well. This is done simultaneously to save time. Please review the draft carefully. Make sure all information is accurate.

 

Please do not sign your QDRO until Step 4 is completed. Both you and the Plan Administrator may request changes in the draft QDRO. 

NOTE: Once the Proposed (Q)DRO is acceptable to the parties/attorneys, we are no longer part of the Process unless otherwise retained.

Step 5 - Both Parties Sign the (QDRO)

We will assist with obtaining electronic signatures when requested.

Step 6 - The Judge Signs the (Q)DRO

Once the QDRO has been approved in draft form, it is presented to the applicable Court for signature by a Judge. This step may be done by the party (or parties) and/or the attorney(s), or by us (if retained in advance to assist with this step).

Step 7 - Obtain a copy of the (Q)DRO

After the judge signs the (Q)DRO, obtain a copy of the QDRO from the Court.   A copy is sent to the Plan Administrator for final approval, acceptance, and implementation.  Typically the Alternate Payee or the Alternate Payee's attorney sends the signed (Q)DRO to the Plan.  (We will provide instructions for where to send the (Q)DRO in our (Q)DRO Packet.)

Step 8 - Final Approval by the Plan

If the Plan Administrator has already conditionally pre-approved the (Q)DRO they will approve the court-entered (Q)DRO rather quickly.  

The QDRO Company, LLC does not provide individual legal, financial or tax advice.