As a QDRO and QILDRO experienced attorney, I can help you at all stages of the process, preparing language to be included in your Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, drafting the appropriate Order, obtaining pre-approval, negotiating with the Plan Administrator and/or opposing attorney or party to include provision for your protection, arguing before the Court for inclusion of those provisions, securing final approval by the Plan Administrator and appealing QDRO related. I have offices in DuPage County and downtown Chicago, with offices by appointment throughout the Chicagoland area. I am always available, providing you my mobile number and responding to calls and e-mails same day whenever possible. Please contact me for a free intake.
If you or your spouse/partner had or have interest in a retirement plan, such as a defined benefit plan (also known as pension plan) or a defined contribution plan (a 401(k) type plan) and you will be dividing that interest, you will need a special court order known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order ("QDRO") (sometimes referred to as QUADRO) or, if it is an Illinois State or municipality plan (such as SURS, or TRS or Chicago Public Schools pension), a Qualified Illinois Domestic Relations Order ("QILDRO") (sometimes referred to as QUILDRO).
These Orders must be drafted carefully and contain the appropriate protections, including pre-retirement survivor annuity (in case of Participant's death before retirement), cost-of-living adjustment provisions and other protections. Alternatively, if the Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage or Civil Union does not grant certain interests in the Plan, the Orders should not provide anything that would inappropriately reduce the Participant's portion.
Since the wording of the Judgment controls the wording of the QDRO or QILDRO, it is important that the proper provision and formulas are used. For example, the difference between "50% as of divorce" versus using the coverture formula (50% of the produce of multiplying the benefit at retirement by a formula, the numerator of which is time participating in the plan during the marriage and the denominator of which is the total time participating in the plan) could meet hundreds of dollars different per month. I have the expertise to draft or review a draft of any QDRO or QILDRO, and can review your Judgment before entry to make sure it contains the appropriate language to protect your interests.
Probably the most important thing to keep in mind is to get the QDRO or QILDRO entered as soon as possible. If there is no Order that has been entered and approved by the Plan Administrator at the time of Participant's death, the Alternate Payee is likely to get nothing. He or she may then only have the option to process against the former spouse's estate. What if there is no money in the estate? What if the beneficiary of the plan was listed as another person and the money went straight from the plan to the new beneficiary? These are questions you never want to have to answer.
I have a successfully processed QDRO's and QILDRO's throughout Illinois, in particular in Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County Lake County and Will County. I can assist you at a reasonable rate. Depending on the case, I charge flat or hourly fees. Please complete and submit my QDRO questionnaire here to begin the process. I will then provide you with a free intake.