On Demand

Dividing Retirement Assets in Divorce: QDROs, Traps, Tricks and Military Mayhem

1h 31m

Created on October 28, 2019




For every divorce, there is a QDRO. Okay, well for most divorces. What is a QDRO?

If an attorney touches on divorce in their practice, they need to understand the basics of retirement account division (done through court orders called QDROs, DROs, DBOs, QILDROs, or simply "division orders"). These orders balance federal and state law, divide defined contribution (401k, 457, etc.) or defined benefit (pension) plans, and protect important benefits for the non-employee spouse, such as survivor benefits if a pensioner passes away. With all this at stake, it is no wonder that QDROs strike fear into the hearts of many family law attorneys. Many see QDROs as a malpractice time bomb, as it is hard to know if the QDRO was done correctly until decades later, when the parties retire.  

This program, taught by family and estate planning attorney Willie Peacock, will define and demystify QDRO terminology, outline a few best practices, and remove the fear that lingers in divorce lawyers' hearts. In addition, the course will provide a primer on QDROs in the context of military divorces, allowing attorneys to issue spot in complex military divorce and benefits cases.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify different types of retirement plans
  2. Define best practices for assessing and dividing plans
  3. Highlight malpractice traps when handling QDRO's
  4. Apply QDRO strategies and rules to a few oddball cases
  5. Discuss the basics of military retirement issues, including recent legal and benefit changes

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