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Property division: Understanding QDRO

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2020 | property division |

It is not uncommon for Minnesota spouses to have numerous financial issues to resolve before they can achieve a divorce settlement. Property division proceedings operate under equitable distribution rules in this state, meaning the court determines a fair division of all marital property. If retirement benefits are an issue, it pays to learn more about a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) before proceedings begin.

QDRO is an order issued by a family court judge. The QDRO specifies how retirement benefit assets should be divided between spouses. The amount each person receives may vary depending on state guidelines and whether a specific state operates under equitable property or community property rules. If the latter is the case, the assets are split 50/50. With Minnesota being an equitable distribution property state, assets are not necessarily divided equally, although a judge overseeing a particular case sees to it that they are divided fairly.

Retirement benefits issues in divorce can be complex. Various factors, such as the age of a participating spouse, 401(k) rules and more may have a significant impact on a QDRO. Before signing a QDRO, a concerned spouse will want to make sure that he or she clearly understands its implications. It is possible to sign such a document but still wind up facing unexpected taxes or fees regarding property division proceedings.

Unless a Minnesota spouse has a specific background in divorce-related finances, it pays to reach out for additional support before heading into property division proceedings. Many people schedule consultations with financial analysts. Others hire experienced family law attorneys to help protect their interests in court.