Question: My husband and I are getting a divorce. He has worked for the Coca-Cola Company for years and has a pension so I have questions regarding a QDRO.
He has worked for Coke for over 40 years. Now that we're finally getting divorced I need to know something about how a QDRO works and maybe hire you to do the QDRO form for me.
We're getting divorced because my husband is seeing another woman. He met her on a business trip and now she's moved to Roswell, GA. I didn't suspect anything until I saw that he was getting a lot of text messages and I looked and I saw some pictures of her. I can't believe that she actually moved here from Macon to be closer to him.
Anyway, since I have been not had a job in decades I'm relying financially on getting a part of that pension and I understand that to do that I'll need a QDRO.
Basically, I want to know if pensions are split 50/50, where he keeps half and I get half, or can they be split in other ways? I need to know the QDRO rules because my friend told me that they are very complicated and I need an attorney who really knows how they work.
B.J. in Roswell
Answer: A qualified domestic relations order (the QDRO) is used to divide a financial interest in a retirement plan. A QDRO does not have to apportion the monies equally.
The parties can negotiate how a retirement plan should be divided. Sometimes they are split equally (50/50), other times they are split in different ways (for example 60/40, 70/30, 80/20, etc.). They can be subject to negotiation.
And sometimes they are not split based upon a percentage basis. For example, a party may simply ask for a sum of money. So instead of doing a split of the pension but percentages, a party would get a specified amount (for example $25,000 or $75,000).
We have handled many QDRO matters, including for professional athletes' pensions, and each QDRO is different. It is vital that a lawyer look at all the surrounding circumstances of the case to ensure that the QDRO is done properly.
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