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

Streams live on Monday, October 28, 2019 at 11:30am EDT

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Course Information

Time 90 Minutes
Difficulty Beginner

Course Description

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

Credit Information

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William Peacock

Law Office of William C Peacock

Willie is an attorney licensed to practice in California since 2011. He has since added admissions in Missouri, New York, New Jersey, Iowa, Kansas, and North Dakota.

He was born and raised in Missouri, went to high school and college in California, and returned there to practice law after attending the prestigious Washington and Lee University, School of Law in Lexington, Virginia. He relocated to New York and relaunched his law firm in 2018, focusing exclusively on retirement – estate planning and division of retirement accounts through qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs).

He has written for Thomson Reuters, Clio, and California Lawyer, and his writings have been cited by the American Bar Association, Above the Law, and other leading legal publications.

He is currently rated a perfect 10.0 by Avvo.com, and more importantly, has a perfect 5-star rating from his past clients on all major review sites.