Property division in a divorce is often more complicated than simply making the numbers on each side of the balance sheet match up. For example, a pretax asset such as a traditional IRA worth $15,000 should not be valued the same as a post-tax asset such as an unencumbered vehicle worth $15,000. There are also certain types of assets, such as a pension or 401k account, that cannot be divided without first obtaining a specific type of court order.
These orders are generally referred to as Qualified Domestic Relations Orders or ‘QDROs,’ even though the specific term QDRO only applies to private sector plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
Most often, these orders are drafted after the divorce by an attorney who was not involved in the actual divorce itself and at an additional cost that is shared equally by the parties.
At Mundahl Law, PLLC, we handle the process of drafting domestic relations orders (a court’s order only becomes “Qualified” when a Plan Administrator says it is) and similar orders needed to divide these types of assets. We advise and represent individual clients on these issues during the divorce itself. We can also be retained jointly by former spouses to serve as a neutral when drafting these documents.
A QDRO can be used simply as a tool to equalize the division of marital property. It can also be used for spousal maintenance or child support purposes. If there are enough assets to equalize the balance sheet another way, however, the parties may choose to divide their assets in such a way that a QDRO will not be necessary. There are good reasons to do this, and there are good reasons why one party or the other might be better served by using a QDRO to divide these assets. We can advise you on what division of property would be in your best interests, based on the unique facts of your situation.
We understand the nuances and complexities of marital property division and help people throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area to secure bottom line property division results that actually add up. If you are facing the prospect of divorce and have concerns about your financial security, we encourage you to contact us for an initial consultation.
Located in Maple Grove, Mundahl Law serves Hennepin County and the surrounding areas of Minnesota, including Buffalo, Plymouth, and Rogers. We invite you to contact us online or via phone at (763) 324-9946. We look forward to working with you.