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The QDRO Process

It is important for you as a client to understand that there is a difference between the process of dividing a retirement account and merely drafting a QDRO. What you are likely seeking is the completion of the account division process, which will include not only preparing the order, but also interacting with the retirement plan(s), the judge's office, the clerk's office, the other party and/or their attorney, and in some cases financial professionals. Indeed, the preparation of the order itself is a very important but very limited step in the process. Only an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the state in which your issues are pending is permitted to work directly with all of these third parties on a client's behalf. That is why our firm only takes cases in which we have an in-house licensed attorney to handle such cases--so that we can handle this process as thoroughly as possible from beginning to end, and minimize the time required for completing the process. 

The preparation of a QDRO or similar retirement division order typically only takes a few business days, once all of the necessary information is provided, however, you should also understand that if your case involves a retirement account, the Plan’s processing of the QDRO generally takes about 8-16 weeks from beginning to end, but can take anywhere from 1 month to 12 months, depending on the plan in question. This means that getting the orders prepared and entered as timely as possible is your best strategy to ensure protection of this important asset. 

If you are interested in having our office assist with QDRO preparation or in obtaining a quote for QDRO preparation, all you need to do is send an email with “QDRO Preparation” in the subject line. It will be most helpful if you include a copy of the settlement agreement or judgment that has been entered (if applicable), the plan/policy terms and conditions/procedures, any sample/format documents received and any statements/information gathered during discovery about such plan. Send that email to From there, our team will be in touch with next steps. You do not need to schedule a consultation with our office to discuss the QDRO preparation, unless you have significant questions or you want to consult about issues related to your case specifically.


"I have known Attorney Pingel for more than fifteen (15) years. Mandee is a lawyer I consider a respected colleague. She has a reputation for being intelligent, knowledgeable about the law, well-prepared and kind."

- A Lawyer in Liberty, Missouri