401k split on an uncontested divorce


#1

My question involves a marriage in the state of:North Carolina
Hello

My husband and i are doing an uncontested divorce and got all our paperwork through legal zoom. All necessary papers have been signed, notarized and filed at the courthouse and we are just waiting for court date for judge to issue decree . We have lived apart 10 years, and all property split except, we have one 401 acct we didnt account for in the filing , mainly because this is a very friendly divorce and we were just going to divide ourselves but the plan administrator wont do it without the QDRO. The clerk at the courthouse says I can file an “amended complaint” with a QDRO and get a new courtdate to finalize divorce and the split of this money

questions:
Do we have to have an attorney prepare this QDRO?

Which party gets the QDRO initiated, I am the plaintiff but my husband has the account from his old job. Does he initiate this, or do I. Must there be an attorney involved? they cost money, and we arent fighting over it, we just want to split it and get divorced.

Will the judge sign this QDRO during my uncontested court date that finalizes divorce, or does this require a separate hearing?

thank you


#2

It isn’t required that you have an attorney draft the QDRO, but I always advise it to make sure that it is done accurately. If you have the QDRO ready at the time the divorce is granted, you can have the court enter it then too. Make sure to have language in your divorce decree that keeps the equitable distribution case open in case there is a problem having the QDRO entered and you need to submit a revised order.


#3

that is wonderful news…so that raises the question, who drafts it? can i personally do this, is there a standard QDRO form that i use?
In all my research i have not been able to locate a form, and therefor assumed i needed an attorney
thank you


#4

There isn’t a standard QDRO. The QDRO should be drafted to reflect the terms of the separation agreement and the requirements of the plan administrator. The first step should be to obtain a copy of the summary plan description from the administrator which should give you guidelines for the drafting.


#5

If my divorce is taking place in NC where i live but the husband is in Missouri and the plan administrator is in Missouri, does the husband go through the Missouri court system to get a judge to sign this QDRO? The money is with a 401K adminisrator from a job he left years ago


#6

You can submit the QDRO through either court with jurisdiction. If you have the QDRO completed when the divorce is being entered, you can ask the judge to sign it then. If not, you can submit the QDRO afterwards. You need to make sure that the divorce decree preserves the ED claim for entry of the order.