Explanation for a QDRO. Does this mean the 401k does not get paid out now if my ex is 35 and still an active employee?

Asked over 1 year ago - Tampa, FL

“The amount required to be paid under paragraph (3) above shall be paid by check or money order in a single lump sum distribution at the earliest of: (a) the date 10 years before the participant would have attained the normal retirement age under the plan; (b) the date the participant attains the earliest retirement age under the Plan; (c) 10 days after the death or total and permanent disability as defined in the plan of the participant; (d) the earliest date the participant may receive all or any portion of his accrued benefit attributable to employer contributions (such as separation from service, or termination of the plan).”

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Daniel A. Bachert

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . If this is the actual language from the QDRO then yes payment would appear not to be required until one of the triggering events. However, that is very unusual language for 401K QDRO. Usually a spouses portion of the 401K proceeds would be separated upon the acceptance of the QDRO by the plan administrator and then that spouse, usually referred to as the alternative beneficiary, could withdraw, transfer and or continue to invest those funds with the plan as the plan language would allow. If this QDRO has been sent to you for review and approval before being conformed by the court you need to have an attorney familiar with such orders review it and advise you further.


    Daniel Bachert, Esq.
    The Bachert Law Firm, P.A.
    330 Clematis Street, Suite 222
    West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
    (561) 653-3951

    Please be aware and advised that this public forum is designed to provide only general information, to give you a... more
  2. John Arthur Smitten

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . Correct not now but when one of those triggering events occurs. Contact my office for free consultation 727-446-7659.

  3. Joseph Julius Registrato


    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . Explanations and interpretations of most concepts in the law are complicated enough. Explanations and interpretations of Qualified Domestic Relations Orders are the stuff of experts and specialists. A lot of family law lawyers farm these things out to specialists because they can be a real pain and very difficult to have approved. Do yourself a favor, get a lawyer to help figure out what it means, don't depend on help from lawyers you find on the Internet.

Related Topics


Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs): Adding an Alternate Payee to a Retirement Plan

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) gives a share of a retirement plan to the payee’s spouse, ex-spouse, child, or other dependent.

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