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QDRO Services, L.L.C. was formed in early 1996 for the purpose of assisting attorneys and their clients with the division of retirement benefits and a QDRO solution when it is necessary. The area of retirement benefits is vast and complex at best. Domestic relations attorneys often do not have sufficient training in all of the technical aspects of pension plans and sometimes fail to properly prepare and timely submit orders that satisfy the complexities of ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code and plan requirements for the efficient division of the participant's benefits. In addition, domestic relations judges rely on the attorneys to draft proper orders.

While QDROs are not just pursuant to divorce matters, it is fare to say that most QDROs are pursuant to this life altering event and in this day and age retirement benefits (including pensions, 401(k), ESOPS, stock options, etc.) are often a substantial portion of the estate, if not the vast majority. A divorce is a trying and emotional time; however, it is also one of the most important financial decisions you will make. It is the one day that you essentially "buy and sell" everything you own. Why wouldn't you have someone who is trained in this technical area assist you? Whether it is in mediation, after the Decree of Divorce is finalized or anytime in between, let us put our experience to work for you.

Working from the information provided by the plan administrators will generally produce a QDRO which will be accepted by the plan; however, the information provided by plan administrators to attorneys as guides, such as sample QDRO language and guidelines, is often heavily biased in favor of the participant, as you would expect. It is not uncommon for specific benefit that the Alternate Payee could or should be entitled, to be excluded from the plan's sample language and guidelines.

The goal of a well drafted QDRO should be to maximize the benefits to the alternate payee while complying with the Decree or Settlement Agreement, not just to get any order accepted by the plan. It is important to make sure that the combination of benefits is right in the particular situation you are facing. This is what QDRO Services, L.L.C. can do for you and your clients. We provide a drafting service that maximizes their benefits at a reasonable pass through cost. QDRO's need not be expensive.

We do not charge rush fees. However, we request that you give us as much lead time as possible so that we can begin the pre-approval process, when necessary, with the plan benefits departments. We may also be able to help you with some of the technical characteristics of the plans, providing you with information that will inform you all of your options.

It is easy to request an order. Simply copy and complete the appropriate Checklist (if you are uncertain as to which Checklist is appropriate, contact us) and send it, along with the requested documents, to us with your payment. If you include a copy of one of the pleadings (front page and signature page) we will format it for your jurisdiction.

All requests for orders and valuations are processed in the order they are received. Most draft orders are completed within seven to ten business days. Some plans will not pre-approve an order. Some plans have very long pre-approval times (up to six weeks in some cases). However, most plans can pre-approve an order within 30 days.

All valuation reports and orders are transmitted by fax followed by the originals in the U.S. Mail. If you would like to receive the reports and orders by email, please indicate on the QDRO Checklists.

While the answers to the various issues surrounding QDRO's depend on the particular plan provisions and agreements between the parties, it is important to know your options. The best solution is to anticipate the problems that might arise prior to their occurrence.