When presenting the paperwork for the absolute divorce, how do you submit the QRDO for the judge to sign? Does he need a copy of the ED and the form giving percent information for the plan? Does the other spouse need to sign anything about the percentage? Will it be signed at the divorce hearing or does it take a while? Do you need to specify when the allotment starts?

A QDRO is usually submitted to the judge to sign out of court. It does not have to be submitted at the time of the entry of the absolute divorce (but can be) although, if you have a pending equitable distribution action, you will want to make sure that the absolute divorce judgment preserves the equitable distribution claim for further hearing.

When submitting a QDRO to the judge, the judge will only need to see the QDRO itself and will not need to see any supporting documents. Different financial institutions have different QDRO templates. If the financial institution you are going through requires plan information as an attachment to the QDRO (rather than included in the QDRO itself), then you will need to submit those attachments with the QDRO.

Unless the financial institution you are going through requires something different, the only thing the other spouse will need to sign is the QDRO itself, which shows his/her consent to the terms in the QDRO and to the entry of the QDRO by the judge if the QDRO is done by consent. Generally, a certain dollar amount or certain percentage of a retirement account to be transferred from one spouse to another is included in the language of the QDRO.

If you mean the allotment of the retirement account that the other spouse will get, then no, you do not have to specify when this will start as the financial institution with the plan will start the transfer process when it receives a signed and filed QDRO unless the financial institution or specific plan requires something different.

Keep in mind that it is a good idea to have a QDRO draft approved by the financial institution prior to you submitting it to the judge for signature and entry.