Why a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is important during a divorce
If you were awarded a portion of your spouse’s pension or 401(k) Plan through your divorce, you need to get a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). It is very important that you hire an expert attorney to complete the process and that you start the process without delay. There are a number of reasons why you shouldn’t delay getting this done.
First, in many cases if your ex-spouse dies before you complete the QDRO process you will lose part or all of the benefits you are entitled to.
Second, if you don’t get the QDRO completed before your ex-spouse starts his or her pension, your options are limited. You may be forced to take your benefits based only on the timing of your spouse’s benefits instead of being able to take it when you want to.
Third, until you complete the QDRO process, your ex-spouse will be in complete control of your money that is sitting in his account. In a 401(k) Plan, your ex spouse will be directing the investment of your money. As soon as you complete the QDRO process, you will be able to control how your money is invested.