760.334.8560  

QDRO Pros iQ is the faster, easier & more accurate way to have a QDRO prepared *** We’re QDRO Experts, so you don’t have to be *** Our Expertise and QDRO Pros iQ saves you time, money & hassle


Putting our Expertise in the Palm of your Hand

Frequently Asked Questions

About Us

on Friday, 24 April 2015 17:29

aboutQDRO PROS MISSION STATEMENT

Provide affordable and efficient QDRO Preparation and Consulting to Client Advisors and Individual Clients.

WHAT IS QDRO PROS iQ?

  • A user-friendly process for clients and their advisors to make informed and appropriate elections when dividing retirement plans in divorce.
  • A dynamic, step-by-step proprietary process for collecting QDRO preparation information and making appropriate elections for division of retirement plans. Benefits of QDRO Pros iQ include:
    • More accurate QDRO Preparation with fewer delays
    • Access to real time plan information collected for over 20 years
    • Extensive on-line help function and information
    • Provides action items prior to QDRO preparation

All QDROs are prepared and reviewed by qualified attorneys to address each client’s individual needs.

WHY ARE WE THE PROS?

  • We have over 20 years of experience in preparing thousands of QDROs.
  • We work collaboratively with advisors and/or clients to develop a legally sound and workable solution for division of retirement plans.
  • Our proprietary software, QDRO Pros iQ, includes access to a real-time database with information on thousands of plans – something our competitors lack.
  • We have NO HIDDEN FEES. Our fee schedule is published on our web site. Don’t be fooled by our competitors’ low initial fees. Look for hidden charges..
  • We are a law firm and are trained to prepare legal documents and provide legal advice.

GETTING STARTED FOR INDIVIDUALS

on Friday, 24 April 2015 16:55

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO, is a court order that legally allows a retirement plan to distribute money to someone OTHER than the plan participant; for example to a former spouse.

QDRO Pros, Inc. prepares QDROs based upon the information provided by you, your advisors, prior court order (MSA, stipulation, judgment, if complete), the retirement plan, and the governing law.  

QDRO Pros normally acts as a neutral party in a joint engagement by the parties, thus allowing us to keep the fees affordable and predictable with one low flat fee. However, we will represent you individually for additional fees.

Our simple QDRO Pros iQ system walks you through the process so you can address all of the issues that must be considered for a specific retirement plan.

QDRO Pros iQ allows you to explore multiple scenarios for the party’s retirement plans with a predictable outcome.

QDRO Pros avoids duplicate work. Once you have selected the agreed upon scenario, simply submit the scenario and the general parties’ information and we will do the rest.

 QDRO Pros allows you to upload any additional documents requested by QDRO Pros iQ, or forward emails directly through our website.

WHAT is QDRO PROS iQ

Provides access to information contained in our real-time internal database.
Walks you through, step-by-step, all of the relevant issues that MUST be addressed for you or your former spouse’s specific type of retirement plan.
Assists you in deciding upon an appropriate course of action, and helpful hints with the extensive “Tool Tips” provided along the way.
Assists you in protecting your rights throughout the painful process of divorce.


HOW TO USE QDRO PROS iQ

Individual Registration:

  • Initiate Registration through Individual Registration
  • Log In and begin work
  • Pay our QDRO Pros fee for preparation of a QDRO

 

What information do you need to get started:

  • Employer and/or retirement plan name
  • Date of marriage
  • Date of separation
  • Date of dissolution (if already divorced)
  • Personal information
    • Contact information
    • Date of Birth (can be provided under separate cover)
    • Social Security numbers (can be provided under separate cover)

       

How does QDRO Pros iQ work:

  • Enter basic information for you and your spouse.
  • Elect a retirement plan from our extensive database, or enter a new one if it is not available.
  • Explore various retirement division scenarios by answering step by step questions dependent upon your previous answer and save for comparison. You may save various scenarios along the way and run a new one to compare.
  • Once you elect a scenario that is appropriate for your situation, press one button to send QDRO Pros your information.
  • Make Payment.
  • Upload, e-mail, fax or mail additional documents requested (i.e. caption page of Petition for Dissolution)
  • QDRO Pros will then begin preparation of your QDRO.
  • QDRO Pros iQ does not formulate the QDRO using a software system.  All QDROs are prepared by our legal team.

 

By E-mail, mail or fax
Alternatively, you may download our fillable PDF forms or request our PDF forms and e-mail, mail or fax us your information.  However, if you choose this method you will not have access to our easy to use QDRO Pros iQ system that allows you to walk through your retirement plan options to make the best informed decisions.

GETTING STARTED FOR CLIENT ADVISORS

on Friday, 24 April 2015 16:51

QDRO Pros, Inc. prepares QDROs based upon the information provided by the parties, their advisors, prior court order (MSA, stipulation, judgment, if complete), the applicable retirement plan parameters, and the governing law.  

QDRO Pros normally acts as a neutral party in a joint engagement by the parties, thus allowing us to keep the fees affordable and predictable with one low flat fee. However, we will represent one party for additional fees.

QDRO Pros makes you an effective Client Advisor by integrating over 20 years’ experience in preparing QDROs with our new QDRO Pros iQ system, providing a user friendly, on-line tool, that allows you to address all of the issues that must be considered for a specific plan to have a QDRO prepared.

QDRO Pros IQ allows you to explore multiple scenarios for each of the parties’ retirement plans and advise your individual clients with a predictable outcome.

QDRO Pros avoids duplicate work. When agreement is reached you simply select the agreed upon scenario, provide QDRO Pros with complete information on the parties, have the client sign QDRO Pros Terms of Engagement, submit the fee and we will do the rest. You can determine if you would like us to work with you or directly with your client.

QDRO Pros allows you to upload any documents requested by QDRO Pros, forward emails or information received from your client; your client’s spouse or former spouse, directly through our website.

WHAT does QDRO PROS iQ do:

Provide access to information contained in our real-time internal database
Walk you through step by step all of the relevant issues that MUST be addressed for your client’s specific type of retirement plan
Assist you in advising your client in an appropriate course of action
Assist you in protecting your client’s rights throughout the painful process of divorce
Provide you with a list of Action Items prior to a QDRO being prepared
Provide helpful hints throughout the process, using our extensive “Tool Tips”

HOW TO USE QDRO PROS IQ

Advisor Registration:

  1. Initiate Registration through Client Advisor Team Registration
  2. Client Advisor Registration allows you to authorize more than one Client Advisor to access through your Client Advisor Team
  3. Add individual Client Advisors to Client Advisor Team
  4. Allow all members access to your Client Advisor Team
  5. Log In as Client Advisor and begin work

 

What information do you need to get started:

  1. Employer name or retirement plan name
  2. Client’s names
  3. Date of marriage
  4. Date of separation
  5. Date of dissolution (if already divorced)
  6. Client’s personal information
    1. Contact info
    2. Date of Birth (can be provided later under separate cover)
    3. Social Security Number (can be provided later under separate cover)

 

How does QDRO Pros iQ work:

  1. Enter basic client information
  2. Elect a retirement plan from our extensive database or enter a new one
  3. Explore various retirement division scenarios by answering step by step questions dependent upon your previous answer and save for comparison and discussion with your client or opposing party
  4. Once you elect a scenario that is appropriate for your client, press one button to engage QDRO Pros and send us your information
  5. Upload or email documents requested (i.e, caption page of Petition for Dissolution)
  6. Make payment to QDRO Pros and we will begin the QDRO preparation
  7. QDRO Pros iQ does not formulate the QDRO using a software system.  All QDROs are prepared by our legal team

 

FAQs

on Friday, 24 October 2014 17:11

What is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order? - A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is a court order that allows the pension plan to pay benefits to someone other than the individual participating in the plan. Without the QDRO, the plan cannot legally make payments to a former spouse.

Why do I need a QDRO? - Without a QDRO, the plan may not be aware of a divorce or a former spouse's right to any of the plan benefits. The plan might pay all benefits to the individual actually participating in the Plan, not the former spouse, even if there is already a marital settlement agreement (called an MSA) or judgment of dissolution, because they generally do not meet the requirements of a QDRO. If the individual participating in the plan dies after the divorce but without a QDRO, it is possible that the former spouse will receive no money from the plan. The QDRO can also prevent later lawsuits.

Couldn't we agree on the amount in the plan at the date of divorce and make an equalizing distribution? This is possible but very risky, particularly if the plan is a defined benefit plan. In a defined benefit plan, the payment at retirement is based upon many unknown factors, such as years of service, final average compensation and the percentage of compensation in the benefit formula, which the plan can change in the future. A calculation of the future benefit must rest upon assumptions which may or may not prove accurate.

What is a Joinder? - A Joinder is a legal document served on the Plan before the QDRO is prepared which notifies the plan that a former spouse is claiming a right to some of the pension benefits. Once the plan is notified, it generally will NOT make any distributions to anyone until it receives the QDRO. Some plans require a Joinder before they will implement the QDRO.

Why do I need a QDRO prepared by a professional? The retirement plan sent me a Model QDRO? The model is often a good starting point. However, it does not necessarily address all the issues contemplated in the Marital Settlement Agreement or Final Judgment of Dissolution.

In addition the Model QDRO typically provides a choice of several alternative paragraphs, usually written in "legalese" making the options difficult to understand or confusing. Because the pension often represents a significant asset, it is important to clearly understand the choice you are making.

QDRO Pros, Inc.® is familiar with QDRO issues, understands the marital settlement agreement or dissolution decree and the applicable options. We can also avoid future litigation by raising unaddressed issues and obtaining resolution before the Plan makes payment.

Why should QDROs be pre-approved by the Plan Administrator before filing with the Court? - An order is not designated as a QDRO until the Plan Administrator approves, even if it is already signed by the judge. Often, this means that in addition to the general legal requirements, the Plan will require the QDRO to include specific language or provisions. If the Plan rejects an order already signed by the court, you will have to file another order with the court and obtain the judge's signature to amend the first one.

QDRO Pros, Inc. obtains pre-approval, whenever possible, to avoid multiple court orders and delay. In addition, some courts may require a letter of approval from the Plan before signing the Order. As experts in QDRO law we can negotiate changes with the Plan Administrator from Model language to accurately incorporate your dissolution agreement into the QDRO.

Should my Family Law Attorney review the QDRO prepared by QDRO Pros, Inc.®? As reflected in our Engagement Agreement, QDRO Pros, Inc. does not represent you or your former spouse. We purposely remain neutral to enable us to raise issues related to the division of retirement plans which we believe need to be addressed. Therefore, if you have any questions about anything in the QDRO we highly recommend that you have your Family Law Attorney review it. Your signature on the QDRO should be done voluntarily and with complete understanding of the contents of the QDRO. Please be aware, that if you choose to have your Family Law Attorney review the QDRO, there will most likely be additional fees generated by your Family Law Attorney.

What if my Former Spouse and the Plan Administrator refuse to furnish information about the Plan I need? If you do not have any information regarding your Former Spouse's retirement plan, it is possible that your Family Law Attorney has already obtained this information during the course of the dissolution. If your Family Law Attorney does not have this information and the Plan Administrator and your Former Spouse refuse to give you this information, you can file a "Joinder", which "joins" the retirement plan in your dissolution and puts them on notice that there is an adverse interest in the plan. You can then serve the retirement plan with a subpeona requiring that they produce such information. Your Family Law Attorney can file this paperwork or QDRO Pros, Inc.® can do it for an additional fee.

Does my Former Spouse have to sign the QDRO? - The QDRO is written as a "stipulation" which means "agreement" between you and your former spouse. Therefore, you must both sign it, in addition to the judge's signature.

If your former spouse refuses to sign, he or she is most likely violating the order entered upon your divorce, which often states that a QDRO must be prepared. It sometimes even goes as far as requiring QDRO Pros, Inc.® to prepare the QDRO. By refusing, he or she could be held in contempt. However, you may find it necessary to have your Family Law Attorney file papers with the court asking the Court to sign in place of your Former Spouse or ordering your Former Spouse to sign.

What if I do not understand the questions on the QDRO Pros, Inc.® forms? QDRO Pros, Inc.® provides an extensive "HELP" function on this website. While you are completing the forms, you can double click on the question and you will be provided with guidance and definitions to assist your answering these questions. Also, a Glossary is provided in this Website.

Glossary of Terms

on Friday, 24 October 2014 17:07
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 

Accrued Benefit - The benefit the participant has earned under the plan at a specific point in time.

Actuarially Equivalent - Having the same value as of a given date using the same assumptions.

Alternate Payee - A participant's spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent who, under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, has a right to receive all, or a portion of, the participant's pension benefits under a plan.

Annuity - A form of benefit in which payments are made at regular intervals for a specified period of time. The most common form of annuity pays monthly benefits for life.

Beneficiary - The person named to receive benefits upon the death of a participant or alternate payee.

Contingent Alternate Payee - An Alternate payee whose benefit is contingent upon the death of another alternate payee or some other event.

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) - Under most Defined Benefit Plans, the Plan will from time to time after the parties begin to receive benefits, increase the monthly benefit to adjust for inflation. Under California law the Former Spouse is entitled to their pro rata share of these Cost of Living Adjustments unless they are specifically waived by the Former Spouse.

Date of Division of Account - For Defined Contribution Plans Only. For purposes of a QDRO this is usually the date of separation unless another agreement has been reached between the parties. Normally, the Former Spouse would then be entitled to participate in gains and losses on the amount determined at Date of Division until actual distribution to the Former Spouse. Note: Using date of separation may not be possible if the date of earliest Plan information is after date of separation.

Date of Hire - This is the date that the Participant began working for the employer. This date may be before date of marriage of the parties and is important to determine if there is separate property in a defined contribution plan.

Date of Retirement - This is the date the Participant actually begins receiving retirement, not the date they terminate employment.

Defined Benefit Plan - A Defined Benefit Plan is one that provides a specific pre-determinable amount of benefits to a participant at that individual's projected date of retirement. Normally, the benefits are based upon a formula that incorporates the participant's projected years of service and final average compensation. This type of plan is what most people consider a "traditional" pension plan. It is more often found in large companies than small companies.

Defined Contribution Plan - A Defined Contribution plan is one that provides for contributions directly to individual accounts established and maintained for each plan participant. The contributions may consist of either employee or employer contributions, or both. The participant is generally entitled to receive the account balance (together with any interest accrued thereon, as well as investment gains and/or losses) when the employee retires or otherwise terminates employment with the company. There are several types of defined contribution plans, including profit sharing plans, thrift plans, 401(k) plans, retirement savings plans, stock bonus plans, and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).

Domestic Relations Order - Any judgment, decree, or order (including approval of a property settlement agreement) that (1) provides child support, alimony payments, or marital property rights to a spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent of a participant, and (2) is made pursuant to a state domestic relations law.

Earliest Retirement Age - For purposes of the QDRO rules, earliest retirement age is the earlier of (1) the date the participant is entitled to a payment of benefits under the plan, or (2) the later of (a) the date the participant reaches age 50 or (b) the earliest date the participant could begin to receive benefits if he or she no longer worked for the company.

Early Retirement Subsidies - Employers offer Early Retirement Subsidies or other Retirement Enhancements. Under California law the Former Spouse is entitled to these Enhancements unless they are specifically waived by the Former Spouse.

Fixed Dollar Amount - You may have an agreement between the Participant and the Former Spouse as to a fixed dollar amount of the benefit that should go to the Former Spouse. When using this method, be sure to know the date the dollar was calculated on. (Eg., date of separation) For Defined Benefit plans this is a monthly payment amount, for Defined Contribution plans it is a lump sum.

Fixed Percentage - You may have an agreement between the Participant the Former Spouse as to a fixed percentage of the benefit that should go to the Former Spouse.

Guaranteed Benefits - The amount of pension benefits insured by the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC)

Government Employer - This would apply to any governmental employer with the exception of the Military. This could be city, county, state or federal.

Joinder - During the dissolution proceedings it is possible that the retirement plan was "joined" as a party in the dissolution. This is done to provide the retirement plan with notice that there is a potential claim against the retirement funds by the Alternate Payee. If the Plan was joined there will be a filing with the court that is date stamped by the Court.

Joint and Survivor Annuity - An annuity that pays benefits over the recipient's lifetime and over the lifetime of the person named as beneficiary.

Life Expectancy - The number of years a person is expected to live, on average, after a given age.

Method of Division – Defined Contribution Plan - There are two ways to determine the amount of money to be distributed to the Former Spouse under a QDRO in a Defined Contribution Plan. A percentage of the account can be used, or an actual dollar amount.

Method of Division – Defined Benefit Plan - The most common method used is the Time Rule. This uses a fraction, the numerator is the number of months the participant was in the plan during the marriage; the denominator is the number of months the participant was in the plan through date of retirement.

Military Employer - This would apply to any Non-Civilian Military Personnel. Civilian Military Personnel are considered Non-Military Government Employees.

Net Annuity - Under the Federal Plans this is the amount of monthly annuity payable after deducting from the gross annuity any amounts (1) owed by the retiree to the United States; (2) deducted for health benefit premiums; (3) deducted for life insurance premiums; (4) deducted for Medicare premiums; (5) property withheld for Federal Income tax purposes; (6) property withheld for State income tax purposes. It includes lump sum payments, if any, made to the retiree under section 8343a or 8420a of Title 5, United States Code, unless the court provides otherwise.

Participant - A member of a retirement plan. A participant is said to participate in or be covered by the plan. The Participant is the spouse whose retirement plan you are dividing. The spouse that is to receive benefits under the QDRO is the Alternate Payee.

Petitioner - The Petitioner is the party that initiated the dissolution proceedings.

Plan Administrator - The person or persons who administer the plan. Sometimes the Plan Administrator is the employer, sometimes it is a third party. If the name of the administrator is not in the plan document, the employer is considered to be the plan administrator. You can also obtain this information from Retirement Plan Statements, a Summary Plan Description, or a telephone call to the Retirement Plan or the Employer. Private Employer - This would be any employer that is not a government entity. This would also apply to those that are self-employed.

Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) - A QDRO is a domestic relations order that gives an alternate payee the right to receive all or a portion of the benefits payable to a participant under the plan, and meets certain other legal requirements with respect to the information and benefits involved.

Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity (QJSA) - A Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity, (QJSA) is a joint and survivor annuity where (1) the participant receives a definite amount of money at regular intervals for life, and (2) after the participant dies, the surviving spouse receives a definite amount of money (not less than 50% or more than 100% of the participant's amount) at regular intervals for life. The Former Spouse may be designated as the Surviving Spouse and therefore the beneficiary of the Surviving Spouse Annuity. When a QJSA is elected by the Participant the monthly retirement benefit will be lower to pay for the Surviving Spouse's benefit, since the Plan will have to pay money over the lifetime of both the Participant and the Surviving Spouse. This benefit can be paid for by the Participant, Former Spouse or both

Qualified Preretirement Survivor Annuity (QPSA) - A QPSA is a benefit that is paid to the named beneficiary in the event that the Participant dies before retirement benefits have commenced. If this option is not selected the Former Spouse may forfeit all retirement benefits if the Participant dies before the Former Spouse commences benefits.

Retirement Enhancements - Employers offer Early Retirement Subsidies or other Retirement Enhancements. Under California law the Former Spouse is entitled to these Enhancements unless they are specifically waived by the Former Spouse.

Single Life Annuity - An annuity that pays benefits over the Participant's lifetime, also known as a straight-life annuity or self only annuity. Once the Participant dies, there are no further annuity payments.

Time Rule - This formula can be used to determine the community property share of benefits in both a defined contribution plan and a defined benefit plan. The Time Rule is computed as follows:
Credits or contributions received during the marriage or through determination date, divided by the total number of credits or contributions participant received in the plan through determination date. This fraction will give you the community property share of the benefit. This amount would then be divided in two to determine how much the Former Spouse is entitled to at determination date. Determination date can be either, Date of Separation, Date of Dissolution, Date of Retirement, Date of Division, or some other date agreed upon by the parties.

Credited Service during the marriage
     =   Community Property Share
Credited Service through date of retirement

Value - For Defined Benefit Plans, the actuarially estimated amount needed at a point in time to provide monthly benefits in the future. Value depends on the amount of the monthly benefit payment, when the benefit payments start and stop, age(s) of the recipient(s), mortality assumptions, and interest assumptions. Also referred to as "present value" or "actuarial present value".

 

 

Fee Structure

on Friday, 24 October 2014 17:04

QDROS & Public Pension Plan Orders
(Including Military)

   

Preparation of QDRO
Approval by plan administrator (where applicable) and revisions required to obtain Plan Administrator’s approval.

 

$ 750.00 per plan ................................

Half Fee are for those clients that are splitting the fees with a second party. The full fee of $750 must be paid before the start of work. $ 375.00 per plan................................

OPTIONAL SERVICES/FEES:

   
Joinder $ 300.00................................
Filing of signed QDRO with Court and Plan $ 300.00 ................................
Review of Orders Prepared by Others/ per QDRO $ 350.00/hr- 2 hr. Minimum  
Consulting and Mediation $ 350.00/hr - 2 hr. Minimum  

The fees quoted above for the drafting of orders, includes the draft of an order prepared in compliance with federal and state law and pre-approval by the plan administrator where applicable. Any additional services will be billed at the standard consulting rate. A surcharge will apply if information necessary to QDRO Pros, Inc. is not supplied in a reasonable time and manner, requiring additional follow up by QDRO Pros, Inc.

Minimum fee must be paid in advance.

How It Works

Preparation using QDRO Pros iQ - Coming Soon

Preparation by Mail, Email or Fax

 

 

Welcome

on Thursday, 07 March 2013 13:25

QDRO Pros, Inc.® prepares domestic relations orders and consults on QDRO issues for all types of retirement plans - public, private and military.

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Elder Abuse Cases

on Thursday, 07 March 2013 12:41

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Employment Law

on Thursday, 07 March 2013 12:41

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