Filing a QDRO

My ex-wife and I are very frustrated. We made it through our Pro Se divorce without a single hitch, thanks in part to your excellent guidance and reference material. All we need to do now is have the court file the completed QDRO document, but the judge in Alamance County refused to file it without a lawyer, which is ridiculous. The document was prepared using boiler-plate verbiage provided by the QDRO consultant firm that has been contracted by Hewlett-Packard, my employer. We only had to add one paragraph to specify the terms of the payout. The QDRO firm then reviewed the completed document and determined (and advised us in writing) that it WILL qualify as a valid QDRO and it simply needed to be filed with the court.

WHY do I need to spend several hundred dollars to have an attorney place a cover sheet on the document and walk into court for 5 minutes to request that it be filed? It makes no sense. I should not be required to hire an attorney to get a document filed.

Any advice?

We do not practice in Alamance County, so unfortunately I’m not familiar with the local rules for that county. However, it is my understanding that you should be able to file this pro se in every county. If the judge refuses you can always contact the NC Judicial Standards Committee to ask if his refusal is proper.

Thanks, Lindsay. One follow-up question.

I just read through all the posts in the other QDRO thread and I want to confirm something… We have a Separation Agreement that includes instructions for the distribution of 401k assets via QDRO, but for some reason, we didn’t include it with the divorce filing. Based on my understanding of the posts in this thread, now that the divorce has been granted, apparently there is no way to get the QDRO filed. so we will not be able to honor the terms of the Separation Agreement. Am I interpreting this correctly?


If your separation agreement specifies that a QDRO should be entered you will need to file a motion in the cause for equitable distribution of retirement benefits under the same file number your divorce was entered under. You will need to attach a copy of your separation agreement to the motion as well. You may then submit the QDRO to the judge for his or her signature.

Jeff, I used a lawyer to get my QDRO signed by the judge because I did not want to waste any time. I am happy to share the details of the process with you. I have sent a “friend request” to you on this forum.

Not sure how the “friend” thing works on this forum, but I would love to hear your details, since it sounds like you got a judge to sign the QDRO after the divorce had been granted. I added you as a friend. Do I need to do anything else?