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Qualified Domestic Relations Order: Support and Maintenance

In divorces in Missouri, a Court is empowered to make an equitable division of property if the parties cannot come to an agreement. Things such as savings accounts and brokerage accounts are easy to divide. On the other hand, things like a home, retirement accounts, IRAs, and other types of pensions are not easy to divide. Further compounding the problem is that retirement accounts, IRAs, and pensions can constitute a large portion of the property a Court must divide — and even when the court decides on the division, how is it going to make the division and overcome all of an employer’s rules and financial regulations?

In such circumstances, a qualified domestic relations order (“QUADRO”) is usually the remedy. In short, a QUADRO is a court order which designates a new, alternate, or additional payee for IRAs and other retirement accounts. The new, alternate, or additional payee is usually a child or former spouse, and the designation is made in satisfaction of maintenance, a property division, or child support.

From a legal perspective, what makes the preparation and execution of a QUADRO is not just the handling of the domestic litigation component, but complying with state laws and federal laws like ERISA in properly creating the QUADRO. Specific requirements must be observed so as to avoid violating federal and/or state law.

Contact us if you have any questions regarding the division of retirement benefits.

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