Ending a marriage is a complicated process that needs cautious planning and careful consideration of various aspects. Any Michigan resident who is in the throes of a first divorce will likely be unfamiliar with many procedures, and having qualified advisers in his or her corner might be invaluable. One crucial matter that is often neglected in the property division process is learning what a Qualified Domestic Relations Order is all about.

A QDRO is an order or judgment that must be signed, and it serves to divide retirement assets. It is a document that needs careful planning and could be used to pay child and spousal support or give property rights to a child, former spouse or other dependants. State law typically governs the percentage of the retirement funds that each party will receive.

However, it is essential to consider the pros and cons of any offers made by a soon-to-be ex or his or her legal counsel with care. For example, there is a provision that allows the one-time distribution of a 401(k) from the holder to a spouse in divorce without any penalties. If the holder of the 401(k) withdraws funds before a certain age, he or she will be subject to penalties and taxes.

With the support and guidance of an experienced Michigan divorce attorney along with his or her other resources such as financial advisers, a divorcing spouse might understand how the QDRO can work favorably for him or her. A lawyer can also answer any questions about property division and all applicable state laws. An attorney can help with other issues to help prepare the client for post-divorce financial stability.

Source: kiplinger.com, “QDRO: Critical Letters in a Divorce Case“, Andrew Mcnair, Accessed on Dec. 9, 2017