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Do you need a qualified domestic relations order

If you are considering divorce, the court might require you to have qualified domestic relation order (QDRO). If your spouse is entitled to a share of your retirement benefits, a QDRO establishes her right to receive payments according to the divorce decree. While a QDRO is often used to distribute retirement funds to a former spouse, you can also have one in place to ensure money is paid from the account to your children.

When you require a QDRO, a lawyer can help you create one quickly and ensure that includes all the mandatory information. Speak with an attorney in the Augusta area for help drafting an order to specify the disbursements that will come out of your retirement account. Read below for answers to some of your questions about qualified domestic relations orders.

What is a QDRO?

A domestic relations order is a legally binding document that addresses things such as child support, spousal support, and even marital property rights. A government authority at the state level must approve the order or decree for it to become effective. A qualified domestic relations order is different from a domestic relations order in that it includes distributions from retirement plans.

What is an "alternate payee"?

A QDRO only exists if the document designates an alternate payee. This means that another person has the right to receive partial or total benefits from your retirement plan. To qualify as an alternate payee, the named person or people must be limited to a current or former spouse, you children, or another dependent.

What information must the QDRO include?

The QDRO must list each account holder and alternate payee. Furthermore, the document must include the mailing addresses of each person named. The order should also specify the amounts and number of payments that the plan will distribute to each alternate payee. In addition, the limit should not contain any provisions that increase the disbursements, alter the benefits, or require that payments continue if your ex-wife remarries.

Will a QDRO include more than one plan?

Your qualified domestic relations order can include more than one plan. However, the specifics of the distributions must also be disclosed for each plan.

If you need a qualified domestic relations order, it is vital that you fully understand the details of the process. You want to be sure that the plan is not disbursing more than the court-ordered amounts.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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