In North Carolina, in order for a couple to have a divorce finalized, they must be separate an apart from each other for a period of one year. Prior to the one year being completed, the couple may be able to agree on items of contention, like child custody, support payments, and the division of their property. In a lot of cases, some of the property which is subject to division includes retirement accounts. This is where a Qualified Domestic Relations Order or QDRO can be implemented.
What is a QDRO?
A qualified domestic relations order is a document that is approved by the court and which entitles a former spouse to receive a designated share of their former spouse’s retirement earnings. It is a “qualified” order because the distribution of the retirement assets must be approved by the retirement plan administrator and the judge.
Why is a QDRO Needed?
Even when the court issues an order of how marital assets are to be divided, Federal law requires that a Qualified Domestic Relations Order be used whenever a retirement account is split up. If no QDRO is filed with and approved by the court, then no distribution can occur. It may be wise to consult with an experienced family law attorneybefore taking steps to have a QDRO drafted.
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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