Qualified Domestic Relation Orders in a Divorce in Virginia

Qualified Domestic Relation Orders PaperworkIf you are filing a contested or uncontested divorce in Norfolk or Virginia Beach, you must divide the property you and your spouse acquired during your marriage. This includes dividing retirement accounts, which are often the most substantial assets of the marriage.

Virginia is an equitable division state regarding property division in a divorce. Before deciding how the property would be split up, the court would determine whether the property is separate or marital property or a hybrid of both. If retirement accounts are being divided in your divorce, you need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to implement the division.

What Is a QDRO?

A QDRO is a court order dividing a husband or wife’s retirement accounts, such as a 401(k) plan or a pension. In the Qualified Domestic Relations Order, the person owning the retirement account is referred to as the participant, and the spouse receiving a portion of the retirement account is referred to as the alternate payee.

What Information Must Be Included in a Qualified Domestic Relations Order?

Certain information must be included in a QDRO for it to be valid. This includes the following:

  • Name and mailing address for the participant and the alternate payee
  • Name of the plan that the order applies to
  • Dollar amount or percentage of the retirement account that is being paid to the alternate payee
  • Number of payments the alternate payee is to receive, or the time period the Order is in effect

Once the parties agree to the division of a retirement account or the court orders how it should be divided, one of the attorneys would draft the QDRO. The judge would have to approve and sign the Qualified Domestic Relations Order. For the QDRO to be legal in Virginia, it must then be sent to the retirement account’s plan administrator to be approved.

Contact a Norfolk Family Law Attorney Today

Are you planning to file a divorce in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Our experienced family law attorneys can explain how getting divorced works in Virginia and will make the process of divorcing your partner go as quickly and smoothly as possible. Call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or complete our convenient online form to schedule your free initial consultation today.