Steps to getting a QDRO approved – In our earlier entry about Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, we discussed what a QDRO was and why it might be needed. We also stated that if a QDRO is not approved by the court, then no distribution can occur. The purpose of this entry is to discuss the steps that are required in order to have your QDRO approved.

Getting Approval of the Plan Administrator

After the parties to a divorce have agreed on what amount should be split from a spouse’s retirement account, they must reduce their agreement into a QDRO. QDROs are designed so that the retirement plan administrator will know how to distribute funds from the retirement account. It may be wise to consult with an attorney to have the QDRO drafted.

After the QDRO is drafted, your lawyer should present it to the plan administrator in charge of overseeing the retirement account in question. A plan administrator’s approval is required in order for the court to accept the QDRO. The plan administrator will be able to advise the parties on any changes that may need to be made to the QDRO. Having pre-approval from the plan administrator makes the process easier.

Obtaining Approval of the Former Spouse

Once a plan administrator has approved of the QDRO, the former spouse’s approval of the instrument is required. As long as the instrument is an accurate reflection of the agreed-upon terms between the former spouses, they should provide their approval via their written consent.

Obtaining the Court’s Approval

Once the plan administrator and the former spouse have agreed to the conditions listed in the QDRO, it may be submitted to a judge for their approval. After the judge approves agreement, they will sign an order, which will be filed with the court. After court approval, the QDRO may be provided to the plan administrator so that any scheduled distributions may occur.

Consider setting up a consultation with a family law attorney at Gilles Law, PLLC. You can reach us at 980-272-8438 at our office in Uptown Charlotte. We invite your inquiries.

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