A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) has the potential to be one of the most important legal documents produced during your divorce. It is also an option that many people overlook, perhaps leaving an incredible amount of assets on the table.
One issue that can be addressed by a QDRO is the division of retirement benefits. These may be in the form of a pension plan, an employer-backed retirement fund or something else of this nature.
During your marriage, your spouse earns those benefits. Some people directly give up earnings in their paychecks to drive funds into the plan. Others just get it as a perk or a bonus. Either way, though, this is an asset that your spouse continually earns.
With other such financial assets, you may have a right to claim a portion of them as marital assets. It’s easy to spot these assets since they are directly owned by you and your spouse and you may use them consistently. With retirement benefits, though, you never see the assets since your spouse still has not retired. This makes it easy to overlook.
However, with a QDRO, the documents can set things up so that a portion of those benefits, whenever your ex actually retires and begins receiving them, will go to you. The total that you get may be based on how long your ex worked for the company during your marriage.
Do not overlook assets and walk away from your marriage with far less financial security than you deserve. Take the time to really consider everything and investigate the proper legal steps you need to take.