New York QDRO
A New York QDRO lawyer can assist you when you are concerned with one of the most important implications of your divorce settlement, and that has to do with the distribution of property and the retirement accounts. Outside of the family home, the division of retirement accounts is one of the areas that has the biggest impact on both parties. The division of a retirement account is so important because it is frequently one of the biggest assets.
QDRO stands for a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. A QDRO divorce lawyer in New York may be able to help you fight for an outcome that helps you receive a fair portion of existing retirement accounts. Since this can significantly affect your financial future, you need an attorney who has navigated this process before and one who is highly knowledgeable about these complex issues. A domestic relations order is separate from your divorce decree and there are particular technicalities that go along with it, making it all the more important to hire a divorce QDRO attorney in New York.
A domestic relations order is a specific court order that designates a portion of a retirement account or pension to a former spouse. This means that after it has been properly issued by the court, a pension administrator for a private employer retirement plan requires that a specific portion be given to the former spouse. An extra step of qualification is also required under federal law to ensure that any orders issued by a state divorce court do not conflict with any provisions of the retirement plan or pension.
You will need a QDRO if your divorce judgement or settlement gives you the right to some portion of your former spouse's retirement plan. Every kind of retirement benefit plan requires a QDRO and far too many people make the mistake of assuming that a divorce attorney can help them with this aspect.
A QDRO divorce lawyer needs to be retained by you because of the technicalities associated with this. A divorce attorney who is thoroughly experienced in QDRO will know that it often means following through on various aspects such as completing paperwork directly with the retirement plans involved. Proper paperwork and follow through is essential for recovering these benefits.
The first step of this is to ensure that your divorce judgement or settlement does indeed have a provision giving you the right to a piece of a spouse's retirement plan. This provision should be detailed sufficiently. If you are not clear about all the provisions of the plan, as most people are not, your lawyer can help you with this process.
Once you know what is included in your spouse's retirement plan, your lawyer should be able to put together an agreement that assigns you a fair portion of the retirement benefits under your spouse's plan, including survivorship rights, pre-retirement death benefits and disability pension benefits. Each of these can be especially complex if you have never handled a situation like this before, and this is why you need to have an attorney who is committed to doing everything possible to protecting your best interests. It's all too easy to find yourself in the midst of handling a QDRO and assuming that all of your rights have been represented or that the order itself does indeed protect you.
A QDRO is practically impossible to update after the fact. Unlike other areas such as termination of child support or modifying child custody in NY, a QDRO is something that should be developed properly the first time around.
However, the order is not active until it has been processed by the plan administrator, meaning that you are officially entitled to retirement benefits and that a process has been outlined for you to recover them now or in the future. You need an attorney who will not let your interests be ignored in this situation.