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3 Common (Q)DRO Mistakes To Avoid


1. Misunderstanding the type of plan being divided

When drafting a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) or Domestic Relations Order (DRO), there isn’t a one-size-fits-all order, as there are different types plans such as contribution plans, defined benefit plans, or a hybrid type of plan. Each plan is vastly different and have their own specific purposes. It is vital to know the type of (Q)DRO plan to divide, as this will save you from delays and additional expenses that come with modifying a (Q)DRO later on if it is not prepared correctly the first time.

2. Not naming the plan correctly

It is imperative to appropriately name the plan in a (Q)DRO. Without the correct name of the plan, you might encounter a case where you only want the pension plan to be divided, while the other party says, “no, no, retirement plan means dividing both 401K and pension”. To avoid this scenario, it is recommended to get an actual current plan statement and summary plan description for each plan you are dividing. That way, you are sure you have the correct plan name. It is also important to obtain the contact details of the person that will implement the QDRO for the company, which is most commonly referred to as the “plan administrator”.

3. Failing to work with a QDRO attorney

In an attempt to save money, most divorcing couples overlook working with an experienced (Q)DRO attorney, which ends up hurting them in the long run. In the end, they spend more than they normally should by hiring an inexperience person not familiar with the (Q)DRO process or parties attempt to prepare (Q)DRO’s on their own.

To avoid these 3 most common mistakes, contact our office to discuss your QDRO needs. To schedule a consultation with the Law Office of Rebecca Medina today, call 559-324-5427 in Fresno or 858-285-4315 in San Diego, or visit us online at We have 2 offices our Fresno Area office is located at 2525 Alluvial Ave., Suite 171, Clovis, CA 93611 and our San Diego Area office is located at 533 2nd. St. Suite 120, Encinitas, CA 92024

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Rebecca MedinaAbout the Author: Rebecca Medina

Rebecca Medina is an experienced Family Law attorney, mediator and Collaborative Divorce Lawyer serving the Fresno and San Diego areas. She handles cases ranging from complex divorce matters to child custody, spousal support, prenuptial/postnuptial agreements, QDROs and uncontested divorce cases. She was rated “Clients’ Choice” by Avvo.

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