Considerations When Drafting a QDRO

Since the QDRO provides instructions as to how the employer should divide the retirement assets, it must be detailed and unambiguous. In most circumstances, the company will provide a sample QDRO that can be used to expedite the process. However, boilerplate QDRO are not always ideal. In many cases, their terms favor the employee and may not include critical provisions that an attorney could insert.

Limitations of a QDRO

  • The QDRO cannot require the retirement plan to provide the alternate payee with any benefits, or any options, that are not otherwise provided by the plan.
  • The order cannot require the plan to offer increased benefits.
  • The QDRO cannot require the plan to pay benefits to the beneficiary in the form of a qualified joint and survivor annuity for the lives of the alternate payee and any subsequent spouses.

Contact a Rhode Island Attorney Today

QDROs can have massive implications. While a well-drafted QDRO could facilitate the efficient transfer of retirement resources to a former spouse or another beneficiary, any mistake—however minor—could result in significant penalties, since the terms of a QDRO must comply with both state law and Internal Revenue Service rules for retirement accounts.

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If you are considering a divorce, you need to speak with an experienced Rhode Island divorce attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Warwick office directly at 401.946.3200 to schedule your free consultation. We help divorce clients in Providence, Warwick, and all areas of Rhode Island.


Christopher L. Russo
Helping Rhode Island personal injury victims for nearly three decades to get the compensation they deserve.
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