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Get your QDRO done in 1-3 business days. No hidden costs!

Unlimited revisions until the QDRO is accepted by the Plan Administrator and the court

Your QDRO is Ready - Now What!?

When you're going through a divorce, a retirement fund is a significant marital asset. A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) grants a person a right to a portion of the retirement benefits of a former spouse.

It's easy to overlook a QDRO in the midst of all the other considerations of a divorce proceeding, but it's vital to make sure you fairly divide all assets – including future retirement funds.

If you were wise enough to get your QDRO drafted during your divorce process, congratulations! You're one step ahead of many others. However, there are still some steps to take to get your order processed and executed by the court.

Here's what you need to do.

1. Print the Document

You'll want physical copies of both the QDRO and the QDRO addendum. Once you print them, you'll need to fill out some additional information, as well.

When you look at the documentation, you'll see you need information for the “participant” and the “alternate payee.”

The participant is the person who earned the retirement benefit, and the person designated to receive part of the benefit is the alternate payee. With this in mind, fill in the social security number and date of birth for each party.

2. Send the QDRO and Addendum to the Plan Administrator

A qualified domestic relations order cannot go into effect until it's approved by the retirement plan. That's when it truly becomes “qualified.”

To get the process going, you'll send the documents to the plan administrator address that is provided. You'll also need to create a brief cover letter asking the administrator to review the proposed order for pre-approval.

The review process by the retirement plan staff will take about 30 – 45 days, so be patient. However, if you haven't received any correspondence from the plan administrator within 30 days, be sure to reach out and make sure they got the documents.

3. Get Additional Signatures

Generally a plan administrator will accept a well-written QDRO. In the unlikely even that it's rejected, you'll want to reach out to SimpleQDRO right away for assistance.

Any administrator that rejects a QDRO has to provide a clear explanation for the rejection, including information on what needs to be done to make the order acceptable.

We'll look over the documentation and find out what the concerns are. Once the concerns are addressed, you can send the documentation back to the plan administrator for a new review.

However, most of the time the QDRO will be accepted and you can move on to getting the necessary signatures. Both parties and possibly the attorneys will need to sign the pre-approved order.

4. Submit the Signed, Pre-Approved Order to the Court

Once you've finished the steps above, it's time to put the qualified domestic relations order on file with the court. Submit the signed QDRO to the judge by mailing it to the court, along with a cover letter explaining that you'd like the order executed and filed.

You can get the address for submission by contacting the clerk of court. Be sure not to send the QDRO addendum to the court! They only want the pre-approved order, not additional paperwork.

Once the judge signs the qualified domestic relations order, you will want to get a court-certified copy so that you can finalize the order with the plan administrator.

5. Send the Court-Certified Copy to the Plan Administrator

Once you have the court-certified copy, you'll need to send it with the QDRO addendum back to the plan administrator.

Remember, the addendum does not get sent to the court, but it does get sent to the administrator with the court-certified order.

You'll need to include another brief letter asking the plan administrator to review the certified copy for qualification. This review process takes another 30 – 45 days.

6. Finalize the Transfer

When the administrator finishes the review, they will send you a notice of qualification. At that point, you have a fully qualified domestic relations order.


However, keep in mind that the plan administrator may provide additional instructions that you will need to follow to finalize the transfer.

Can You File a QDRO After Your Divorce?

Sometimes you didn't think to get a QDRO during your original divorce process, but you realize that you should have done so.

The good news is that it's not too late! Even if it's been years since your divorce, you can still get a qualified domestic relations ordered drafted and approved to fairly divide the retirement assets. You'll need to follow the same process discussed above once the QDRO is prepared.

If your spouse is not communicating with you or is not willing to share details about the retirement plan, you can contact the plan administrator directly. That way you'll be able to find out what that specific plan requires for a QDRO, and you'll discover the financial details you need to draft the order.

You can ask for:

• The plan document and plan summary description

• The participant's benefit statements

• A copy of the plans model for a QDRO if there is one

• A copy of any other QDRO that might affect the participant's plan

You'll need legal assistance to get all of this information, of course. Your lawyer can draft the specific legal requests that the plan administrator will honor.

Once you have the documentation, you can work directly with SimpleQDRO to get your order drafted quickly and easily.

A former spouse is entitled to a portion of the retirement assets even if it has been many years since the divorce. A former can also gain benefits after the retirement disbursements have begun, although they will only apply to disbursements that come after the order is finalized with the plan.

Don't overlook one of the largest assets that's involved in a divorce. Whether you are in the process of a split or divorced many years ago, a QDRO can help you fairly divide retirement assets.


Get your QDRO done in 1-3 business days. No hidden costs!

Unlimited revisions until the QDRO is accepted by the Plan Administrator and the court