Some people are under the impression that since there are guidelines about what a QDRO must include in order to be effective that it’s enough to rely on an attorney to create it. While an attorney might have a general idea, it can be extremely helpful to bring in outside help. There are many different reasons for why it’s helpful to have an expert on board, and just a few of those are covered here.
Having an extra pair of eyes to review the QDRO is just good common sense, so why not have someone who has worked with them many times take on the task? Minor details, when overlooked, can end up making a big difference when it comes to how a retirement plan pays out benefits. It’s much better to have caught up with all the details before the plan becomes official. You might find yourself back in court haggling with your spouse if you don’t get the finer details pinned down sooner rather than later.
An Expert Has Insider Knowledge
Someone who has worked with QDROs in the past is going to be quite familiar with what works and what doesn’t work inside the document itself. Your attorney might have good intentions, but not all plans work the same and some language might not actually translate properly to what the plan is supposed to do. Avoid these problems altogether and get the help you need early on from an outside expert. A QDRO expert can help work on the client’s behalf to ensure that the actual benefits in question are divided in a truly fair manner. A QDRO expert can also be brought in to evaluate the plan as a third party, outlining the limitations and benefits of the plan as drafted. This might illuminate outstanding issues for all involved parties.
Mistakes Are All Too Common
The reality is that while most of the basic stipulations of a QDRO seem straightforward, it’s easy to make mistakes even if everything has been reviewed a few times. Mistakes also give way to confusion. For example, not clearly outlining the date for which an account will be evaluated could lead to confusion and future arguments over the proper amount in question. Whatever steps you can take to be reduce or eliminate confusion are well worth it in the long run.
Engaging a QDRO expert either on behalf of one client or in an analytical position for both clients has multiple benefits that make carrying out the QDRO much easier for all.