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Getting divorced husband has FERS (Federal Employees Retirement System) & TSP ( Thrift Savings Plan)

Arlington, TX |

I was told I needed 2 QDRO's for each of his retirement plans. Husband receives packet from his employer & it clearly states that QDRO's are not accepted & that there is a handbook for attorneys on court ordered retirement. The OPM ( the United States Office of Personnel Management) must have proper language in a court order. Not sure where to find a attorney to complete the court order or can I do this order on my own. We are doing divorce on our own husband has already filed.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. QDROs are for employee savings and retirement plans in the private sector. FERS is divided by a COAP, court order acceptable for processing and TSP is divided by a Retirement Benefits Court Order. These are very technical and you don't want to do them yourself. Definitely hire an attorney well-versed in federal plan division to prepare these documents.

    Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.


  2. Hire a board certified family law attorney in your area.


  3. The court orders for dividing federal retirement plans have the same effect on their respective plans as QDROs on private retirement plans but do not include the same language and are governed by different federal laws. The language the plans are looking for is technical and very specific. I would not encourage you to try to draft those yourself using forms you find online.

    Most family lawyers can help you draft these orders once the court has issued the divorce decree awarding you part of his retirement. It sounds like you are not at that stage. You may want to hire a divorce lawyer yourself -- even if your husband does not -- to make sure you are getting a fair division of marital property and that the divorce decree has the correct division of retirement assets. The lawyer can also help you with drafting the orders, getting the court's signature and processing the orders with OPM.

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