Do I need a QDRO if the entire retirement benefit is awarded to the participant or the nonmember spouse?

The only reason to get a QDRO is if any share of retirement benefits (including any survivor benefits) are being assigned to a nonmember ex-spouse (alternate payee). So if the alternate payee is awarded 100% of the participant’s retirement account, you still need a QDRO and the award should be 100% of the retirement account.


If the participant is awarded 100% of the retirement account, no QDRO is needed. However, note that the judgment should have clear language that the participant is awarded 100% of the retirement benefit and that the former spouse waives any interest in it. QDROCounsel has judgment language to help you when the participant is awarded 100% of the retirement account.

Beware though that if the participant retired while married and then later divorced, there may be irrevocable survivor benefits awarded to that spouse (now an ex-spouse) which cannot be waived (undone) under the law. Carmona v. Carmona (9 Cir 2010) 603 F.3d 1041


Disclaimer: Communications between you and QDROCounsel are protected by our Privacy Policy but not by the attorney-client privilege or as work product. We are a legal services support company and legal document drafting platform and not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. We cannot provide any kind of advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendation about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms or strategies specific to your case. Communication of information by, in, to or through this Website and your receipt or use of it (1) is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice, and (2) is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. We provide information of a general nature to assist you with our services. QDROCounsel provides access to a referral network of independent attorneys, valuation experts, non-profits, and self-help services who assist with pension division. You must enter into a separate agreement with them for services. Your access to our Website and Applications is subject to our Terms of Use.


Copyright © 2023 QDROCounsel.com All rights reserved.