What is the process for obtaining a QDRO? Can a QDRO be obtained without going through the equitable distribution process when there is no separation agreement?

To obtain a QDRO with the court, you have to file an action with the court alleging that an agreement has been made, and that the agreement entitles you to a QDRO. If you do not have a separation agreement, you can file a regular action for equitable distribution, draft a consent order stating that you are entitled to a QDRO, and then get the judge to enter the QDRO. How you submit the QDRO to the financial institution varies depending on the institution.

Thanks for responding. Are you saying that I can file for equitable distribution and only request the QDRO? Will the judge look at my spouse’s other assets?

Yes, you can file for ED and only ask for the QDRO if the parties have settled all other matters, and you can tell the court that. If you subscribe to Rosen Online, we would provide you with a draft of a complaint for the limited purpose of entering a QDRO. You can get more information at http://www.rosen.com/diy. Otherwise, you cannot limit the scope of the ED action, and yes, the judge would look at all assets, marital and separate, which come into question.