QDRO prior to divorce

Can a transfer to my 401k from my spouse by QDRO be done prior to divorce? We agree as to amount but have not been separated a year. Can we go ahead and do this transfer prior to our divorce being finalized?

Yes, procedurally it is fine to move forward with the QDRO prior to obtaining your absolute divorce. There are some instances where the plan administrator requires parties to wait until the absolute divorce to disperse the funds, but it is fine to move to have the QDRO entered before the divorce is finalized.

Hello! I have the same question! I went to the Court to get the QDRO signed (done with an online service), but they said I was NOT able to because I had no “case number” with the Court/Judge. I am in the one-year separation time period, so I am not able to file for divorce for 7 more months. How would I get a case number prior to that? And for what would I be filing for, since if I can’t file for divorce until the 1-year separation mark. They were not willing to answer my question at the Court, as they “do not distribute legal advice”. THANK YOU to anyone who might know!

You need to file for Equitable Distribution, once you do that you’ll have a case number.

What if you have agreed on ED and dont need to go to court for that?

You need to file a friendly complaint just for purposes of obtaining a file number so that you can enter the QDRO.

How do I file a Friendly Complaint to obtain a file/case number? We are in full agreement of the division of the 401K and just need a simple process for the judge to sign the QDRO and submit to the plan administrator. We can’t file for divorce until next May but want to complete this process and division prior if possible.

A friendly complaint is filed the same way as a regular complaint. You must file a Complaint for equitable distribution (and any causes of action that might be at issue), Domestic Civil Action Cover Sheet, Civil Summons, and any local forms at the clerk’s office and pay the $150 filing fee. Your spouse can sign an Acceptance of Service to show that he or she was served with the action. The clerk’s office will assign the new action a file number immediately upon filing. Then you should be able to submit an equitable distribution consent order and/or QDRO for a judge’s signature.