When you get a divorce, the State of Mississippi requires that you and your spouse divide your marital assets between you in a fair and equitable manner. But you can divide some assets much more easily than others. For instance, SmartAsset.com advises that dividing up your respective retirement or pension plan benefits can prove tricky indeed.
If either you or your spouse has a retirement or pension plan covered by ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, you likely will need a qualified domestic relations order, a/k/a QDRO, in addition to your divorce decree. Keep in mind that while the divorce court issues the QDRO, the retirement or pension plan administrator must approve it. You should therefore contact the plan administrator as soon as possible so (s)he can send you a sample QDRO form that meets all of the plan’s terms and specifications.
You and your attorney or CPA will need to follow the sample QDRO to the letter. In other words, you must make sure that all of the provisions in your QDRO comply with all of the restrictions imposed by the specific retirement or pension plan. Your best interests dictate that you submit your QDRO to the plan administrator for his or her approval prior to filing it with the court. Failure to do so could mean a long delay in you or your spouse receiving the monies due you. Worse yet, it could mean that you receive nothing at all.
You can also usually use a QDRO for the purpose of ensuring timely and adequate child support payments. Again, Mississippi law sets child support guidelines, and both the plan administrator and the judge will need to approve and accept the amount and payment schedule of any QDRO used for this purpose.