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Important things to know when administering QDROs in North Dakota

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is a tool by which divorcing couples can separate their joint retirement accounts.

Retirement accounts are often among a person’s greatest assets, especially when divorcing later in life. Here is what you need to know about how to handle them.

Requirements for a valid QDRO

In order to be a valid QDRO in North Dakota, the document must meet certain requirements set forth by the state’s domestic relations laws. These require that the order must:

  • Be in writing and signed by a judge
  • Clearly identify the retirement plan up for division
  • Specify the allocation amount or percentage of the plan that will go to the alternate payee
  • Specify the number of payments or the duration of the payment schedule

It is important to note that a plan administrator (such as an employer, professional association or board of trustees) must approve a QDRO before a court can enforce it.

Challenges in the administration of QDROs

One of the biggest challenges in the administration of QDROs in North Dakota is ensuring that the document meets all of the state’s requirements. Trust someone who knows the latest developments in state law.

Another challenge is the timely distribution of the funds. Processing can take several months, which can delay the funds’ distribution. Therefore, it is important for both parties to be patient and understand that the process can take some time.

QDROs are often complex. However, when empowered with accurate information and experienced guidance, the two parties can reach an equitable agreement.