QDROs and Retirement Accounts in Divorce
Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C.
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58 N. Chicago Street
Suite 405
Joliet, IL 60432


15300 S. Route 59
Suite 104
Plainfield, IL 60544


Plainfield Illinois QDRO Attorney

Skilled Guidance with Qualified Domestic Relations Orders in Joliet and Plainfield

During a divorce, numerous financial issues must be resolved. These include spousal support (“maintenance”), child support, property division, division of debt and many others. However, retirement accounts are often overlooked, and many couples assume that because retirement accounts belong to a specific individual, they are considered non-marital property and not part of the property division. This is not necessarily the case. In fact, if some (or all) of the value of the retirement account was accrued during the marriage, the portion earned/accrued during the marriage is considered marital property and must be divided according to the terms and conditions of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).

QDROs and other similar orders accomplish the division of retirement assets in divorce and there are certain rules and forms that must be followed to minimize tax consequences and make sure the terms of the marital settlement agreement are met. However, navigating the complexities of retirement asset division can be a challenging task and should only be done with the guidance of an experienced divorce and family law attorney.

At the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C., we have over 40 years of combined experience helping clients in all matters related to family law and divorce. We work closely with our clients to find the most practical and cost-effective solution based on their individual circumstances. Whenever possible, we help couples dissolve their marriages amicably. However, if things turn ugly, we stand ready to aggressively advocate for your rights and interests through litigation.

QDRO Overview

If an individual retirement plan is determined to be part of the marital estate, a QDRO or other order is used to award the benefits to an alternate payee. In most cases, the alternate payee is the divorcing spouse. QDROs may designate additional payees as well. These include:

  • Previous Spouses; or
  • Children.

When drafting a QDRO, there are several factors that must be taken into account, including:

  • The percentage of the retirement account that should be considered marital property;
  • The rules of the retirement plan (these rules cannot be altered by the order);
  • The tax consequences of the order for all parties involved; and
  • Satisfaction of all state and federal requirements.

Though the Qualified Domestic Relations Order is created by the parties with the help of their legal counsel, it does not take effect unless/until it is approved and entered by the court.

Qualified Illinois Domestic Relations Orders (QILDROs)

Spouses with retirement plans that are part of the Illinois public retirement system use a different order known as a Qualified Illinois Domestic Relations Order (QILDRO). QILDROs are similar to QDROs but with more restrictive terms and conditions. Examples of plans that would require a QUILDRO include employees of the Chicago Police Department or Teachers Retirement System. In cases when one spouse has a plan within the Illinois public retirement system and the other has a private sector plan, both a QDRO and QILDRO may be required.

Other retirement plans require orders which are similar to a QDRO, such as orders to divide Railroad Retirement benefits and orders for division of postal workers' or other federal employees' retirement plans (ex. TSP, CSRS and SERS/FERS plans). Our firm can help you receive these benefits if they are part of your divorce.
If you are facing a divorce that may require the use of a QDRO or QILDRO to properly divide assets within pension plans or personal retirement accounts, contact our offices today for your free initial consultation. From our offices in Joliet and Plainfield, our experienced family law attorneys serve clients throughout Will County, Grundy County, Kendall County, Kankakee County and surrounding Illinois communities.

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58 N. Chicago Street, Suite 405
Joliet, IL 60432

15300 S. Route 59, Suite 104
Plainfield, IL 60544

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