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Wheat Ridge Divorce and Retirement Attorney | What is a QDRO in Jefferson County?

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2018 | Divorce |


There are many legal terms and acronyms related to family law and divorce that can cause confusion to those going through it. One of those acronyms is QDRO. Pronounced ‘qua-dro’ or ‘q-dro’, QRDO stands for Qualified Domestic Relations Order. It relates to retirement benefits, which is often the largest asset a couple must divide in a Wheat Ridge and Jefferson County divorce case. A QDRO is a necessary document that is needed to complete a retirement division.

Retirement and Divorce: How Does the Jefferson County Court Divide Retirement Pension?

Because Colorado is an equitable division state, there is a formula for deciding how much of a person’s pension a spouse will get. The formula is: years of service (work) over years of marriage, times the marital fraction, times the amount to be received when the monthly pension proceeds are paid out. So, let’s say a person worked for their company for 40 years and they were married for 20 of those years. If their pension payout was $1,000/month, the payout would be this:

  • 20 years of marriage /40 years at the company = ½
  • ½ x ½ x1,000 = $250/ month to be paid out to the spouse

This amount is calculated and reported in the QDRO, so when it comes time to pay out the pension or retirement, it is automatically distributed.

Necessary Steps for the QDRO in Arvada and Littleton

A QDRO is an important document, so you want to make sure you do it right. A QDRO cannot be finalized until your divorce is final. In order to prepare the QDRO, you must bring a copy of your divorce agreement and any permanent orders related to your Arvada, Littleton, or Golden dissolution of marriage. You must also bring information from the employer/ company which tells who the plan administrator is. An experienced divorce lawyer will take these documents and draft up a copy of the QDRO, outlining how the retirement is to be divided. This will be filed with the plan administrator, so when it is time for the retirement to be distributed, the human resources department or benefits manager will make sure it is applied correctly.

If you want to be sure your divorce is handled correctly, from beginning to end, contact the best family law attorneys from the Pearman Law Firm at 720-259-9528 for a initial phone consultation.

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