Fort Worth QDRO lawyers help clients draft QDROs and resolve QDRO issues in Tarrant County divorces. QDROs are court orders required to divide many types of employer-sponsored retirement plans following a divorce. The divorce decree divides retirement benefits between the spouses but the plan administrator is not bound by the Texas divorce decree. A separate order–the QDRO–is an order directed to the plan administrator. If you believe you need a QDRO or other court order to divide retirement benefits in your Fort Worth divorce then you should contact a Fort Worth QDRO lawyer.
QDROs in a Fort Worth, Texas divorce
A QDRO is a qualified domestic relations order. QDROs are necessary court orders to divide an employer-sponsored retirement plan governed by ERISA. ERISA is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a federal law regulating many types of private employer benefit plans. ERISA requires plan administrators to protect benefits earned by employees. As a result, a special court order is necessary to order the plan administrator to divide benefits. A QDRO signed by the judge in your Fort Worth divorce will complete the division of ERISA benefits. (Once the plan administrator processes the QDRO.)
For non-ERISA plans a QDRO or other type of division order may be necessary. State retirement plans use QDROs to divide benefits although they are not ERISA plans. Federal benefit plans need similar orders although they are not ERISA plans. Some private employer plans are not ERISA plans. They may or may not require some type of domestic relations order to divide benefits.
What makes QDROs difficult to draft–why a QDRO lawyer may be necessary
Laws governing benefit plans and the benefit plan rules are often extremely complex rules. ERISA is one of the largest statutory and regulatory systems in the nation. Many benefit plans also fall under various insurance, employment and securities laws. Benefit plans often include complicated benefit formulas and record keeping. QDRO lawyers have experience with these laws and rules which is critical to understanding how to draft a QDRO for Tarrant County clients. A poorly drafted QDRO at best delays completing the benefit division and at worst may result in permanently losing benefits. Poorly drafted QDROs can become years of trouble for both the employee/retiree and the alternate payee.