Is the QDRO for the plan administrator to know how to transfer or distribute the money or is it for the IRS? I'm confused. The brokerage where the Rollover IRAs are at say they only need a letter with the specifics and the pertinent pages of the divorce decree.
Both of you may be right, sometimes you need a qualified domestic relations order to transfer funds and sometimes you need a direction of payment, check with the fund that you taking the money from that should tell you. take care and yes it is an IRS thing a qcro allows you to move money without a tax consquenece under certain circumstances, divorce being one.
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The Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is only for the Plan Administrator, not the IRS. If the Plan Administrator only needs a letter or a copy of the Judgment of Divorce, then that is all you need -- assuming your ex-spouse agrees.
You will need to set up a qualified account. If you do not, then the money that comes to you may be considered income by the IRS and you will taxed on it. You may also incur a penalty for early withdrawal from your ex-spouse's qualified account. Usually this can be avoided by setting up the same type of account in your name as your ex had in his/her name. You do not need to use the same brokerage house. Please consider consulting a tax professional on this as we do not provide tax advice.