Divorce and QDRO

My ex-husband and I have a SA we both signed on 10/13/09, as well as a QDRO for his 401K. We obtained a “quick” divorce through the Clerk of Courts on 10/28/09 (since we were doing everything ourselves…no lawyers). Now, a lawyer is telling me that since the divorce was done this way, I have “waived” my rights to his 401K…I thought as long as we had a SA that was signed and had the order for the QDRO in it, that would be fine. The judge in my area is giving me a hard time getting this QDRO signed…any ideas???

If you did not preserve your claim for Equitable Distribution of retirement benefits in the divorce, the court does not have jurisdiction to enter the QDRO.


Can you specify what she should have done here in order to have claim to the 401k. I also was under the impression that if it was in the SA, you were good to go.

The divorce complaint would need to include a claim for equitable distribution of retirement benefits in order to preserve rights to have the court Equitably Distribute martial property. Once divorced, if no claim is pending, there are no longer rights to have the courts distribute marital property.

Is there a way to “reopen” the divorce and pursue the QDRO? The SA had it in the paperwork, but since it was a simple divorce (w/Clerk of Courts) I couldn’t file the SA at the same time. Is there anything that I can do???

You can file a breach of contract action and the court can enter the QDRO in that action.

My question is…
I have been told that a QDRO will cost $750-$1000. The problem is that I have zero money. Is there a way or place I can get the QDRO cheaper???
This all seems so complicated! It should be that hard to get married!

You can request a sample, or model QDRO from the Plan and attempt to draft the same on your own. If you do chose that course of action, I would suggest having an attorney review it.