Employer-sponsored retirement and pension plans can greatly complicate the divorce process. You must proceed with care before finalizing the divorce decree to ensure they are properly addressed. Without a Colorado divorce lawyer, you may make a mistake and your order will not be approved by the plan administrator. In addition, if you do not have the proper plan in place, you may sacrifice the retirement benefits.
At Stahly Mehrtens LLC, there is no retirement or pension plan issue that we cannot help Colorado divorcees to resolve. We will explain what you need to do and empower you to make your own decisions about your divorce.
Defining Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs)
A QDRO is a court order, decree or judgment that specifies how employer-sponsored retirement (such as a 401k), pension plans and some IRAs will be divided during a divorce. QDROs are most commonly prepared during a divorce, but you may be able to file after the divorce has been finalized. The amount and benefits that the alternate payee will receive depend on the length of the marriage. After a QDRO has been drafted, it must be approved by a judge. A QDRO only becomes qualified once it has been accepted by the employer-sponsored retirement or pension plan administrator.
Your Divorce Decree May Not Suffice In Colorado
It is imperative to note that just because your divorce decree discusses retirement benefits does not mean that a former spouse is entitled to receive those benefits. You must also have a QDRO that is approved by the plan administrator. We will draft a thorough divorce decree and assist in getting a QDRO in place so that all of your rights are protected and the retirement is divided correctly. If a QDRO is not done correctly, it is quite expensive to fix and sometimes the damage is permanent.
We Know How To Create Comprehensive Decrees And Orders In Colorado
Creating a QDRO as soon as possible is key to ensure that the alternate payee will receive benefits if the participant retires or passes away. Our attorney will review your case to determine if a QDRO is necessary. Keep in mind that you may be able to use the benefits obtained under a QDRO to negotiate other terms of the divorce. We will identify opportunities for negotiation and what we can do to meet your goals and efficiently end the marriage.