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Why you probably need a QDRO when you divorce in Illinois

Trying to split your property and debts is one of the hardest steps in an Illinois divorce. Couples with more assets will have more to fight over during their divorce proceedings. Retirement accounts are often among the largest assets people have, meaning they lead to the biggest disputes.

Both of you want a nest egg for your retirement, and you may not agree about the best way to split those savings. If you and your spouse have shared retirement savings or if one of you put money aside during the marriage, then you will probably need a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) in your divorce.

What is the purpose of a QDRO? 

QDRO is an acronym for qualified domestic relations order. It is essentially a court-approved legal document that explains how to divide your retirement savings. With a QDRO, you and your ex can quickly split a shared account, even if only one spouse’s name is on it. 

Once the courts determine how to split the assets, a lawyer representing one of the two spouses will draft the QDRO and then submit it to the courts for approval. After the courts review and confirm the accuracy of the documents, then the couple can submit them to the plan administrator managing the retirement account. 

Provided that the divorcing spouses follow the appropriate steps, a allows for the division of the retirement account without the penalties or fees often assessed due to early withdrawal before someone reaches retirement age. Learning about the tools available to help divide your property can make it easier for you to manage a high-asset divorce in Illinois.