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What is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order in Texas?

When a Houston couple is going through a divorce, one of the most contested areas to work out is property division. Property division can be difficult and complicated to navigate. Along with assets such as the family home, retirement benefits can also be large and a very important benefit to be divided.

Although retirement benefits may not be the first thing that comes to mind when sorting out property division in a divorce, they often can be large and should not be ignored. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order is used to divide retirement benefits among spouses in Texas. Assets that are in a retirement account, such as a 401(k) or pension and accrued during the marriage are community property and can be divided in a divorce. The QDRO instructs the retirement plan's administrator how to pay the non-employee spouse and deposit that money into a separate Individual Retirement Account without penalty.

A QDRO is often complicated and is usually completed before the divorce is finalized. A legal professional skilled in family law can help a person who is going through a divorce and dealing with the division of retirement benefits. They can offer their advice and take steps to make sure the division does not fall through the cracks.

A divorce is an emotional time for everyone involved. It can be hard for a person to think past their hurt and angry feelings and consider the financial implications of a divorce. An attorney is an asset to help their client achieve the divorce settlement that allows them to emerge on a solid financial footing.

Source: dol.gov, "Qualified Domestic Relations Orders," accessed on Aug. 9, 2016

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

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