Written by attorney Mary Katherine Brown

Do both spouses need to sign a QDRO order?

There is no requirement that both parties to a marital proceeding sign or otherwise endorse or approve an order. It is also not necessary that the retirement plan be brought into state court or made a party to a domestic relations proceeding for an order issued in that proceeding to be a domestic relations order or a qualified domestic relations order. Moreover, there is nothing that requires that a QDRO be issued as a separate judgment, decree, or order. Accordingly, a QDRO may be included as part of a divorce decree or court-approved property settlement, or issued as a separate order, without affecting its qualified status. Not all matrimonial/family law attorneys are comfortable with QDROs. Before you pay an additional retainer, you may want to consult with another attorney locally for a second opinion as to the most efficient way to proceed. Good luck!

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