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How Do You Divide Retirement and Profit Sharing After Divorce?

by | May 3, 2017 | Divorce

TEXAS POST-DECREE QUALIFIED DOMESTIC RELATIONS ORDERS

Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is a term used for an order that divides some, but not all, retirement, profit sharing, and other such qualified plans after a divorce. Some of these types of orders are called Domestic Relations Orders (DRO). The drafting of a QDRO or DRO is very technically difficult and should only be done by a lawyer who is an expert in the area.

WHEN IS A QDRO WRITTEN?

A QDRO or DRO ideally should be drafted and signed when the divorce decree is signed. A lawyer must first determine if the retirement plan being divided at divorce is a defined benefit plan, a defined contribution plan, or a combination of the two. He or she should get the plan administrator to pre-approve the order before the judge signs it. The QDRO or DRO must divide the retirement plan as per the Decree of Divorce.

If a QDRO or DRO was not signed at the time the divorce decree was signed, the court that rendered the divorce decree (or another final order dividing property,) retains exclusive jurisdiction to render an enforceable QDRO, DRO, or similar order. This order may divide a pension plan, retirement plan, or other employee benefit previously divided at divorce, whether the plan is private, state, or federal.

If the retirement plan administrator determines that the DRO dividing retirement does not satisfy the legal requirements, the court of continuing exclusive jurisdiction can render a corrected order that satisfies the plan administrator.

A court that renders an order to divide retirement benefits can still amend the order to correct it or clarify the terms, but the plan administrator must approve the amended or corrected order. This can happen if the QDRO or DRO divides the retirement plan differently from the way the divorce decree divided the retirement plan.

OTHER PAYMENTS

The court shall liberally construe this subchapter (TFC Section 9) to effect payment of retirement benefits that were divided in a previous decree that failed to contain a QDRO, or contained an order that failed to meet the requirements of a QDRO or similar order (or differed from the division of the retirement plan in the decree).

In a proceeding under this subchapter, the court may award reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by a party to a divorce or annulment against the other party. The court may order the attorney’s fees to be paid directly to the attorney, who then may enforce the order for fees by any means available for the enforcement of a judgment for debt.

For more information on this subject, please contact The Law Office of Tim Whitten via the form below, or by phone at 512-478-1011.

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7500 Rialto Blvd., Bldg. 1
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Austin, TX 78735
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Family Focused.
Solution Oriented.

Family Focused. Solution Oriented.

Resolving family law matters while preserving family relationships.

Family Focused. Solution Oriented.

Our goal is to help folks resolve their family law issues in a way that protects their interests and preserves their family ties. Most family law cases can be difficult from an emotional and financial perspective. We believe in reducing the emotional and financial stress by offering alternative options to resolving their disputes, such as mediation. We enjoy helping people who are interested in working together to find creative solutions to their circumstances.

We provide a variety of services to clients from all walks of life. We offer both full-scope and limited-scope representation so that you may choose the way you want to allocate your resources. We are open to exploring alternative fee arrangements, in appropriate cases. Contact us to inquire.

Helping You Pursue Alternative Conflict Resolution Methods

Too often clients in family law cases spend substantial sums of money arguing about issues in court and often feel worse at the end of their case than before they started. At The Law Office Of Tim Whitten, P.C., we are sensitive to this reality. This is why we explore alternatives to the traditional litigation approach with each client as we help him or her identify long-term legal interests and goals. After our representation begins, we strive to be available and responsive to each client to ensure that we stay on track with that client’s interests and goals.

Contact the Law Office of Tim Whitten

If you are in need of an experienced family law attorney and you believe that our philosophy may work for you, contact The Law Office Of Tim Whitten, P.C. We are dedicated to helping you and your family move forward peacefully. Call 512-478-1011 to speak with our firm today.

MORE THAN 25 YEARS OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Our primary attorney, Tim Whitten, is certified as a Family Law Specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. This means that he has experience in multiple case types, demonstrated proficiency, and mastery in some of the technical aspects of family law.

Contact Us Today

For a Confidential Consultation

Contact Us

512-478-1011

7500 Rialto Blvd., Bldg. 1
Suite 250
Austin, TX 78735
Map + Directions

Family Focused.
Solution Oriented.