Legal Blog

Qualified Domestic Relations Orders

Once you walk out of court and the testimony has been taken, shouldn’t it be over?

Often times, there is follow up paperwork to be done.  Courts generally ask attorneys to prepare the Judgment and/or Court Orders consistent with the decision and/or the parties’ agreements.

If the circumstances are that there is to be a division of retirement accounts, then it will be necessary for Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) to be prepared.  They are Orders that allow retirement money to be moved from one tax protected account into another tax protected account without penalties and tax consequences.

QDROs need to be created consistent with the Order or agreement, often pre-approved by the plan administrator, signed off on by the parties and their counsel, submitted to the court for signature, and then sent to the administrator of the retirement entity.  Having an agreement to divide a retirement is not sufficient for the division to occur.

Like everything in the divorce process, these orders take time, money, and expertise.  So when your attorney reaches out to you post Judgment for details to accomplish the retirement division, don’t be surprised.  Your first response may be to say that you have already provided pertinent information.  Generally, what has been produced in discovery does not coincide with the valuation date.  That is the date on which the retirements are to be valued.  It is possible that you have already produced the information that is sought, in which case, you can pay your attorney to search through the documents to find it again.  It may also be more cost-effective for you to just answer the question or to put your hands on a document.

In either event, it is critically important for this information to be forthcoming, and for the QDROs to be completed in a proper and timely manner.



If you need help with any issue regarding child custody and access, please contact Linda Sorg Ostovitz at or 301-575-0381.




Linda Sorg Ostovitz is a family law attorney. Her legal experience spans more than 34 years. In this time, she has served as a leader, educator and advocate. Mrs. Ostovitz holds a prestigious fellowship in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Currently, she serves as President for the Business Women’s Network of Howard County, by which she was chosen Woman of Distinction for 2014. Mrs. Ostovitz represents clients in Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll and Baltimore Counties. Her practice focuses exclusively on divorce litigation and mediation, child custody and access, child support, alimony, business valuation, as well as property and asset distribution. In addition to providing legal representation in court, Mrs. Ostovitz provides mediation services to help families come to a fair and legally-sound conclusion outside of the traditional court proceedings.



Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the Mid-Atlantic region. With over 140 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our eleven offices serve individual and corporate clients in the Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City regions. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.

You can connect with Offit Kurman via our Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn pages. You can also sign up to receive Law Matters, Offit Kurman’s monthly newsletter covering a diverse selection of legal and corporate thought leadership content.