Hello, I'm helping my parents with a QDRO to split their 401K per their legal separation. We received the instructions and the sample QDRO template in the mail from the Plan Administrator (Hewitt for the Federal Thrift Savings Plan). It looks pretty straightforward. Can I just hand write the appropriate information in the blanks? Or do I need to re-type the whole document so none of it is hand written?
Thanks in advance for your help
QDROs have enormous tax consequences. They're NOT do it yourself projects, and you are doing your parents a huge disservice in "helping them." Many divorce attorneys actually bring in special counsel just to draft and tweak a QDRO.
I should also note that in Georgia there is no such thing as a legal separation, which makes your post more of a mystery. You can do a QDRO in a divorce, and possibly also in some separate maintenance actions.
In other words, get counsel.
I strongly advise you to not attempt to complete a QDRO without the advice of an attorney. There are many issues involved that can have adverse tax consequences if the QDRO is not completed correctly. Also, there is no such thing as a "legal separation" under Georgia law. There are many facts missing from this, which leads me to believe that you are about to open a hornet's nest of problems for your parents. There is no sense in not seeking the counsel of an attorney on a matter like this.
You definitely need to speak with a lawyer about this. Your completing the QDRO could be considered practicing law in Georgia but beyond that, could have substantial negative consequences for both of your parents down the road. You need to get a lawyer.
Nothing contained herein shall be considered or construed as creating an attorney client relationship between the party asking the question and the attorney. All legal problems are different. The answer given is only a general response based upon the facts provided and should not be considered specific advice for your case. Always contact a lawyer for advice about your particular circumstances and issues.
It doesn't matter whether a QDRO is typed versus hand-written.
It DOES matter that the contents of the Order are correct. Considering the fact that licensed attorneys (even those that practice family law on a regular basis) can easily screw up a QDRO, I really do not think you should be doing this yourself. You really need to retain an attorney to do this for your parents.
~ Kem Eyo
The above answer is a general explanation of legal rights and procedures. It does not constitute legal advice. Nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship between the individual posting the question and the attorney providing the answer.
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