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Litigating QDRO Issues 

Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) and Domestic Relations Orders are a necessary part of nearly all divorce cases involving division of any retirement assets or accounts incident to the divorce. Typically, the entry of the QDRO is the final step to concluding the division of the parties’ assets. It is important that the QDROs are completed correctly to make sure the assets are fairly and accurately divided.  

Plan administrators have specific responsibilities and duties with respect to determining, entering and processing a QDRO. When plan administrators, serving as plan fiduciaries, fail to faithfully discharge their duties solely in the interest of the plan participants and beneficiaries, the Plan can be subject to litigation. Plan administrators are required to establish reasonable procedures to determine the qualified status of domestic relations orders and to reasonably and timely distribute funds/assets consistent with the requirements of the qualified domestic relations orders. Plan administrators are required to follow the plan procedures for making QDRO determinations and the plan must have procedures permitting the reasonable and timely processing of the QDRO in order to maintain their qualified status.  

Plan Administrators have additional duties to furnish notice to participants and alternate payees both, of the receipt of a domestic relations order and to provide a copy of the plan’s procedures for determining qualified status of such orders. These duties must be accomplished within a reasonable period of time after the plan receives the order and to reasonably and timely notify the participant and the alternate payee of the determination made by the plan.  

Disputes involving entry of a QDRO with the plan administrator may need to proceed through state court or federal court. In addition, unfortunately, our firm has been involved in many cases where the parties did not get an accurate, complete and thorough marital settlement agreement or terms for a final judgment involving division of retirement assets. This can result in the need to return to court to conduct discovery, seek contempt proceedings, seek a modification or update to the terms of property distribution or other actions. At Pingel Family Law, we have the requisite knowledge and skill to assist with litigating these issues. It is only through our years of preparing QDROs and addressing issues through the assisting clients that we are able to litigate QDRO issues. Call us today to schedule your consultation to discuss and address these issues. 


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