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Orlando Qualified Domestic Relations Orders Attorney 

Florida Family Law Attorney Assisting with QDROs in Orlando 

Getting divorced is never easy, and divorces can become even more complicated when there are substantial marital assets to divide and when the parties cannot come to an agreement about a property settlement. In particular, marital assets that are in one or more retirement accounts can be complicated to divide, and they can be even more problematic to remove given the ways in which early withdrawals can result in substantial penalties. With a Florida Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), it is possible for one spouse to access funds in the other spouse’s retirement account upon the division of marital property, and a QDRO can also allow spouses to withdraw funds from a retirement account in some cases without incurring a penalty.

If you have questions about dividing retirement assets in divorce or more specific questions about a QDRO, an experienced Orlando family law attorney can speak with you today. Our firm provides compassionate and personalized representation to each of our clients without sacrificing strong advocacy services throughout the divorce process. 

What is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)?

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order, also known as a QDRO, is a type of legal document issued by a Florida court or another issuing authority in the state that does two primary things: it allows one spouse to obtain assets from the other spouse’s retirement account(s) or pension plan(s) in a separation or divorce, and it allows the retirement assets to be withdrawn without the heft penalty that is normally attached to early withdrawals. As an article in U.S. News & World Report explains, distributions from individual retirement accounts (IRAs) that occur before a person is 59 ½ years old will result in a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty on top of the tax that must be paid on the amount.

The QDRO outlines how a spouse will be paid benefits from a retirement account upon divorce, and in effect allows the non-employee spouse to access benefits earned by the other spouse during the marriage. For example, as the Florida Department of Management Services explains, QDROs can be used to award retirement benefits from the Florida Retirement System (FRS) along with other retirement benefits, but they must be approved. While a QDRO cannot prevent a party from having to pay tax on retirement benefits, it can prevent the parties from having to pay the early withdrawal penalty. 

What Needs to Be Included In an Orlando QDRO?

Florida courts have been examining the uses of QDROs for quite some time. As the Florida Bar explains, “since this QDRO was created, this specific order has gone from an obscure legal mechanism to a valuable and necessary tool for enforcement.” While Florida courts have disagreed over varying aspects of QDROs, the following information generally must be contained in any QDRO to be approved:

  • Name, Social Security Number (SSN), and birth dates of both spouses—the spouse holding the retirement account and the nonemployee spouse to be paid from the retirement or pension benefits;
  • Mailing addresses and contact information for both parties;
  • Certified copy of final judgment and marital settlement agreement;
  • Retirement plan information;
  • Payment amount for the non-employee spouse; and
  • Details about the payment(s) to the non-employee spouse (whether the payout will come in multiple payments or a lump sum, for example).

Contact a Florida Qualified Domestic Relations Orders Attorney

The advocates at Greater Orlando Family Law have years of experience assisting clients with QDROs and a wide variety of financial issues related to divorce. Our large firm offers numerous benefits to clients, including assistance from a team of experienced and rising star lawyers. An Orlando QDRO lawyer can answer your questions today. Contact Greater Orlando Family Law to learn more about the services we provide to families and individuals in Orlando and the surrounding area.

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