Qualified Domestic Relations Orders

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Qualified Domestic Relations Orders In An Alabama Divorce

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order, also known as a QDRO, is a judicial order used in the courts of Alabama during divorce that involve the division of retirement or pension plans. In some situations, a QDRO is particularly advantageous because the Order allows individuals to distribute assets to another party without taxation and penalties for early distribution. Qualified Domestic Relations Orders contain so many details that even some lawyers find these documents to be confusing. To make sure that a Qualified Domestic Relations Order is properly handled, clients in Birmingham often turn to a skilled Birmingham divorce attorney who knows how to properly execute these documents. These Orders are also so important that it helps significantly if clients have a basic understanding of the various elements about such an Order.

The Advantage To A QDRO

Not only do QDROs allow individuals to distribute assets without taxation or penalties for early distribution, QDROs are advantageous for other reasons. In many divorce judgments, a substantial risk exists that a spouse will never receive funds from a retirement account. QDROs authorize exactly when a payment will occur and the exact amount of pending payments.

Obstacles Presented by A QDRO In Alabama

There are many obstacles presented by a QDRO, which an experienced divorce attorney will know how to overcome. Some of these challenges include:

  • Exact Details Must Be Listed. Various details including the correct name of the retirement plan, each party's full names, the current addresses of each party, and the exact amount to be transferred must be adequately listed in a QDRO.
  • The Language Of A QDRO Must Reflect An Individual's Intent. The language that is used throughout a QDRO must sufficiently reflect the intent of an individual. Given that QDROs are often quite detailed, making sure that the entire QDRO reflect an individual's intent often requires the talent of a top divorce attorney.
  • Making Sure The QDRO Is Sufficiently Detailed. A QDRO must be sufficiently updated to account for changes to a retirement plan. One obstacle presented by a QDRO that is not sufficiently updated is that outdated terms might mean that a spouse does not receive the desired amount from the QDRO.
  • Not All Accounts Are QDRO Qualified. Unfortunately, not every retirement account is qualified, which means that these accounts are not capable of being divided.
  • Surviving Spouse Details Must Be Added. A QDRO must specify that a surviving spouse is to receive benefits from the QDRO. Failure to include this detail in QDRO means that the surviving spouse will likely not be provided with benefits if the other spouse dies prior to the division of the QDRO.

Reasons To Contact An Experienced Birmingham Divorce Attorney


Many attorneys simply do not have the experience or ability to understand the various details concerning Qualified Domestic Relations Orders. If you are interested in utilizing a Qualified Domestic Relations Orders in your divorce, contact an experienced Birmingham family law attorney at Eversole Law LLC today to discuss the various available options.

We serve the following localities:

Birmingham, Jefferson County including Bessemer, Homewood, Hoover, Irondale, Leeds, Mountain Brook, Trussville, and Vestavia Hills, Shelby County (including Pelham, Alabaster, Chelsea, Calera), Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Huntsville, Calhoun County including Anniston, Etowah County including Boaz and Gadsden, Cullman County including Arab and Cullman, Madison County including Huntsville and Madison, Montgomery County including Montgomery, and all of Alabama.

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