Qualified Domestic Relations Orders Washington State

What is a QDRO and does your divorce need one?

As a part of your divorce or legal separation, it may be necessary for you to execute a qualified domestic relations order. Washington State requires it for you to obtain certain retirement or pension benefits awarded to you in the decree.

QDRO — a very technical document

Here’s why you will want legal help with your qualified domestic relations order. Washington State law makes them complex and time-sensitive documents.

  • Often a QDRO must contain specific language required by the administrator of the retirement or pension plan making it an overly complex document.
  • Also, a QDRO must be entered at the same time that the court enters the divorce decree. However, sometimes the qualified domestic relations order is omitted, making it necessary to enter it after the decree has been finalized.

If you have been awarded all, or some, of your former spouse’s retirement or pension benefits, it is very likely that you will need to have a qualified domestic relations order entered by the court to actually receive those benefits from the plan administrator.

Our attorneys at Helland Law Group are knowledgeable of the requirements for many plans and can help prepare an order protecting your rights and benefits.

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