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What is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order?

Depending on one's specific set of circumstances, certain divorce legal issues can take precedence. For example, divorcing couples with a child may focus a lot of their time and energy on resolving child custody and visitation matters. Those who gave up their career in order to raise a family may want to take the time to develop strong legal arguments for alimony. Of course, each of these issues, as well as other family law matters, should be part of a comprehensive approach to marriage dissolution. Therefore, in order to proceed in a way that one feels supports his or her best interests, individuals need to know as much as they can about divorce.

Property division, which can be a highly contentious issue, is oftentimes a matter that is fraught with legal complications. This can be especially true for those who have retirement accounts. If these accounts are divided through divorce but improperly handled, the parties can see significant, yet avoidable, financial losses. This is why it is critical to obtain a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.

A QDRO is an order that directs money from a retirement account to pay for resolved divorce legal issues, such as child support and alimony. The order needs to specify what percentage of the benefit needs to be paid out, as well as name the intended recipient. This is perhaps most commonly used when a 401k is divided. Those who take money out of one of these accounts without a QDRO may face significant penalties.

As mentioned earlier, this is just one of the many family law issues that may come up when an individual decides to dissolve his or her marriage. In order to best position one's self for a favorable divorce and a successful post-divorce life, these individuals may want to speak with an experienced family law attorney to develop a strong divorce strategy.

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