The retirement accounts are often an issue in a New York divorce, especially when the divorcing couple is older. The divorce agreement or the court could split the accounts between the spouses based on equitable factors. The qualified domestic relations order is what could effect the division of the account.
QDROs deal with your retirement assets and pension
Most retirement assets would be need a QDRO to carry out the division. This includes things like pensions and 401(k) accounts. It is the legal document that is sent to the administrator with the instructions from the court for the division. The QDRO will reflect the terms reached in the marital separation agreement or the court order. For example, if the accounts are to be divided in half, the QDRO will give these instructions. The administrator will not divide these accounts without this formal document.
Check if you need a QDRO
Your need for a QDRO depends on the type of account that you have. The need for a QDRO is based on the fact that your plan is covered by ERISA. Otherwise, you would need a Domestic Relations Order. The concept is still the same. However, Individual Retirement Accounts do not require a QDRO for division. While the QDRO seems very simple, it has very technical and precise requirements, and it will be invalid unless they are met.
When you are involved in a divorce and are dividing up retirement assets, you should contact a family law attorney. They could help you reach a settlement agreement with the other spouse. They could then assist you in handling the administrative details of the divorce. This includes the QDRO that will divide the retirement accounts.