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What is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order in Oklahoma?

qualified domestic relations order OklahomaA qualified domestic relations order Oklahoma, or QDRO (pronounced as “Quadro”), is a tool that can be used in a Tulsa divorce to allocate retirement benefits to a spouse.

It is an order of the court that tells the retirement account or benefit administrator that a specified portion of retirement benefits will now belong to the other spouse as part of the divorce settlement.

Normally, retirement benefits are not assignable during the beneficiary’s lifetime. A qualified domestic relations order Oklahoma carves out an exception to that rule.

FAQ: Qualified Domestic Relations Order Oklahoma

A QDRO may be executed by the spouse to divide assets as part of the settlement agreement. A qualified domestic relations order Oklahoma may also be used to help a spouse pay alimony, child support, or both.

Retirement accounts are often a major asset held by the marital community, second to, or sometimes more valuable, than the communal home. As such, they are often subject to allocation by the court during a divorce.

Because Oklahoma is an equitable distribution state, rather than a state that splits assets in half, it important to understand that many factors will be considered by the judge in whether to divide retirement benefits and if so, in what proportions.

Like decisions about alimony in Tulsa, the court considers factors such as the length of the marriage, past contributions made to the community, future earning potential, and the like.

Tax and Other Ramifications

In addition, it is important to understand the tax ramifications of a qualified domestic relations order Oklahoma.

The QDRO itself acts like a directive allocating funds from a retirement vehicle to another person. If that spouse takes the funds directly, or has them deposited into a regular bank account, there will be tax ramifications to that individual. The taking acts as a withdrawal.

If the spouse has those funds rolled over into another retirement vehicle such as an IRA, the payment of taxes will be delayed until withdrawal.

There may be other issues that need to be resolved in negotiations regarding the QDRO allocation. For instance, if the assigning spouse had earned a portion of that money before marriage, that portion may be considered to be his or her separate property. These issues need to be resolved before the qualified domestic relations order Oklahoma is drafted.

Free Consultation: Tulsa Family Law Attorney

Whether or not a qualified domestic relations order Oklahoma is involved, a Tulsa divorce constitutes a major change in the financial lives of both spouses.

It is important to carefully evaluate all the financial assets of the couple and to ensure that the judge is made aware of all the relevant facts that might impinge on his or her determination regarding equitable distribution of the assets.

For a free confidential consultation with a qualified Tulsa family law attorney, call the Divorce Law Office of Tulsa today at 918-924-5526.