Bedford divorce lawyer on saving money on a QDRO in an uncontested divorce
I help people with both contested divorces and uncontested divorces in both Tarrant County and Dallas County. It’s easy to work the Dallas/Fort Worth area with an office located between Dallas and Fort Worth. Although both counties follow the same law in an uncontested divorce, each county has its own rules that sometimes differ.
Today’s post will discuss a filing fee specific to Dallas County courts that can make your uncontested divorce expensive. This filing fee is to submit a QDRO–a qualified domestic relations order–after the divorce. When it comes to uncontested divorces there’s no reason to spend any more money than necessary.
QDRO in a Bedford, Fort Worth, or Dallas Uncontested Divorce
You need a QDRO in your uncontested divorce if you plan on dividing most retirement plans in your divorce. (There are different types of orders to divide other government retirement plans and certain private retirement plans.) The QDRO is a court order to the plan administrator. A QDRO orders the plan administrator to divide a retirement benefit and give the divided share to another person. The QDRO must comply with very specific and technical rules under ERISA.
The plan administrator will reject any order that does not comply with this web of regulation and plan rules. This is a unique situation in which a party may disregard a court order. (The reason ERISA permits this is too technical to discuss here.) As a result of the complicated rules surrounding QDROs, many divorce attorneys do not draft QDROs for clients even when they assist in dividing retirement plans. A handful of words missing or incorrectly included can result in the order’s rejection by the plan administrator. Or even worse, incorrectly explain the division of benefits in the divorce and result in a division the parties did not intend.
Bedford divorce attorney for QDROs in your Dallas or Tarrant County Divorce
Often in divorces, and particularly uncontested divorces without attorneys, the parties will pursue the divorce and not show up to court with a proposed QDRO either because they don’t know they need one or they plan on doing it later. In Dallas County this can be an expensive decision to make. The Dallas County District Clerk charges a pricey $267 filing fee to file a separate petition for a QDRO once the divorce is granted. In most uncontested divorces there is very little reason to wait on the QDRO and pay a second full filing fee just to get the QDRO signed by the judge. Generally the better course of action is to have the QDRO prepared and ready to go at the same time as the decree so the judge can sign everything at once.