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Divorce Q&A: What are QDROs?


Getting divorced means dividing all marital property. While most individuals think of the home, vehicles, and other “physical” property during their divorce, they fail to realize that less obvious property, such as retirement accounts, are also subject to division.

This is where a QDRO comes in.

QDROs, otherwise known as Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, are documents required to divide retirement assets and pensions in any divorce proceeding. They are filed after your divorce is complete according to the amount you are to receive as set forth in your Marital Settlement Agreement. Most often, you will receive half of the marital portion of a retirement account, though the amount will vary depending upon what is considered “equitable distribution” in your divorce.

Of course, QDROs can be quite confusing. Below, we’ll discuss what they are in greater depth to ensure you understand them and the role they’ll play in your divorce case.

Getting Familiar With QDROs as Part of Your Naperville Divorce

QDROs or QILDROs are common in most divorces whether they be in Naperville, Wheaton, or another surrounding town. There’s a basic difference between the two:

  • QDROs are used to divide retirement accounts such as IRAs, 401(k)s, or pensions.
  • QILDROs are used for public state entities. For example, you would need a QILDRO if you are dividing a pension in the Chicago public school system.

Both QDROs and QILDROs must be filed with the Court and signed by a judge to be enforceable. As you can imagine, they can be quite complicated and must be incredibly precise. As such, it’s best to leave the drafting of such orders to an experienced divorce attorney in Naperville.

Regulatory Rules for Entrance and Enforcement

There are certain pieces of information a QDRO and QILDRO must contain and other pieces of information that cannot be in the document for it to be valid. For example, a QDRO must contain:

  • The participant’s name along with each alternate payee’s name and last known mailing address; and
  • The value or percentage of the participant’s benefits to be paid to each alternate payee of the plan.

These pieces of information may seem obvious but preparing a QDRO or QILDRO (or several in many divorce cases) is more difficult than you think. As such, it’s vital you consult a professional to ensure there are no mistakes on your orders that may hold up distribution.

Contact Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. to Assist in Your Divorce

While QDROs and QILDROs are an important component of any divorce, there are other, more complicated negotiations and tasks throughout the case. And, when you’re seeking a Naperville divorce lawyer that will strongly advocate on your behalf while remaining communicative and transparent throughout the divorce, Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. can help.

To speak to Larry or to set-up your free, 30-minute consultation, contact a member of our team at 630-470-9990 or fill out our simple online form. We look forward to speaking with you both about QDROs and your concerns or questions on other components of the divorce process.

Concentrated on Family Law

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

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About Attorney Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd.

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

We continue to work with clients in Naperville, Wheaton, Lisle, Oswego, Downers Grove, and the surrounding areas to provide one-on-one support and attention that will help you through this difficult time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at any time. We look forward to offering our expertise and support to you throughout your case and after.