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What are QDROs and why do you need one in a divorce?

If you are considering divorce and you or your spouse has pension benefits, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO, may be necessary to divide those pension benefits earned during your marriage.

Pension benefits earned during a marriage are marital assets, just like any other asset acquired during the marriage, and are subject to division in a divorce action. Sometimes the value of a spouse’s pension may be “offset” by the value of other assets awarded to the other spouse. In other situations, the pension itself must be divided, and the only way to do that is by a QDRO. The QDRO directs the pension’s plan administrator to divide the pension between the spouses according to its terms.

Unlike other divorce attorneys who shy away from preparing QDROs, the attorneys at Noud & Noud will make sure that a QDRO awarding you a share of your spouse’s pension is prepared and entered at the time your Judgment of Divorce is entered.

Noud & Noud was recently retained by a client who had been awarded a share of her former husband’s pension by their judgment of divorce entered in the late ‘90s. A QDRO was never entered, however, and her former husband was now objecting to her receiving the pension benefits awarded to her, claiming that the 10-year statute of limitations for enforcing the judgment of divorce had passed. With their knowledge of family law, however, the attorneys at Noud & Noud were able to point to Joughin v Joughin, in which the Michigan Court of Appeals rejected that argument, and were able to get their client the benefits she deserved.

At Noud & Noud we know divorce is challenging. We work diligently for our divorce clients to ensure they get what they deserve. We know the importance of preparing QDROs promptly and accurately, and we will leave no loose end untied.