As part of a divorce, ex-spouses are permitted to transfer retirement assets without a taxable event. This one-time IRS exception allows ex-spouses to divide retirement assets equitably without incurring negative tax consequences to the division. The document required to complete this transfer is called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (“QDRO”) or Domestic Relations Order (“DRO”) depending on the type of retirement plan. Skylark Law & Mediation, P.C. offers flat fee preparation of QDROs and DROs, and we also offer hourly consulting services to ensure that Divorce Agreements contain the necessary language for the proper division of a retirement account.
To request a QDRO or DRO preparation follow these 3 Simple Steps:
Choose the level of assistance you want:
- Option 1 – Cost: $400.00 – Preparation of QDRO only. Does not include any additional documents or assistance with court filings. If you choose this option, you will be responsible for: submitting the QDRO for preapproval to the plan administrator, drafting and submitting the Motion to the court, and submitting the final document to the plan administrator. This option is best if you are working with attorneys who will walk you through these steps.
- Option 2 – Cost: $600.00 – Preparation of all QDRO Documents and pre-approval: Includes preparation of QDRO, Joint Motion to Approve QDRO and submission to plan administrator for pre-approval. Does not include any assistance with court filings. If you choose this option, you will be responsible for: submitting the Motion and QDRO document to the court and then to the plan administrator yourself.
- Option 3 – Cost $800.00 – Full Service: Preparation of QDRO, Joint Motion to Approve QDRO and submission to plan administrator for pre-approval. Once the QDRO is pre-approved our office will assist with obtaining everyone’s signatures, submit the documents to the court for the Judge’s signature and then submit the document to the plan administrator for implementation. This option is best if you don’t want to involve an attorney further to assist you.
Complete the Intake Form Available Here and return the form to our office per the instructions on the form.
Complete the Credit Card Authorization Form that we will send through Right Signature upon receipt and review of your Intake Form.
Next Steps – Drafting the QDRO/DRO
Upon obtaining all of the necessary information requested in the Intake Form the attorneys at Skylark Law & Mediation, P.C. will contact you to confirm that Skylark Law & Mediation, P.C. will be preparing a draft QDRO or DRO. If you chose Option 1 in your Intake then we will now provide you withe the draft QDRO or DRO and you will complete the remaining steps.
Next Steps – Submitting the QDRO/DRO for pre-approval
Upon completion of the draft QDRO/DRO, many plan administrators will review the draft to ensure compliance with the plan rules. If this service is offered by your plan administrator the next steps is to submit the draft QDRO or DRO for pre-approval. If you chose Option 2 in your Intake then we will provide this additional service. If you do not pay the additional $200 fee then you will be responsible for submitting your QDRO or DRO for pre-approval.
Next Steps – QDRO/DRO Approval by the Court and Implementation
Once pre-approval has been obtained (assuming this option is available in your case), the QDRO or DRO is then ready to be submitted to the Court. If you chose Option 3 in your Intake, Skylark Law & Mediation, P.C. will draft a Joint Motion to Approve QDRO/DRO and provide the final QDRO/DRO for signing and submission to the court.
The Court typically sends back a copy signed by the Judge in a few weeks. This signed copy must then be submitted to the plan administrator for implementation. Once the QDRO is approved officially, the plan administrator will contact the alternate payee (the spouse who is receiving a share of their spouse’s retirement) to make the final arrangements for the transfer. Depending on the type of account (401k, IRA, pension, etc.) these arrangements may take different form. If you do not request these additional services from us, then once you have the pre-approved QDRO/DRO it will be you or your attorney’s responsibility to submit the QDRO/DRO to the court and then to the plan administrator. If you do not complete these steps then the QDRO/DRO will not be implemented.
If you have any questions about which is the best Option for you please give us a call at 508.655.5980 or e-mail us.