On January 31, 2017, I was honored to speak at an Ohio State Bar Association CLE, “QDRO Best Practices: Why a Properly Drafted Separation Agreement is Critical.” As the only presenter and course designer, I had the opportunity to tailor a program that I believed would help practicing divorce lawyers avoid potential pitfalls when it comes to properly dividing a retirement asset.
If a former husband or wife was married at least ten years to their former spouse and have reached the age of 62, the former husband or wife may be eligible to claim spousal social security benefits.
An article was recently published on Bloomberg.com relating to the fees associated with processing a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO): The Divorce Penalty: This 401(k) Fee Can Add Insult to Injury, which may be found here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-23/the-divorce-penalty-this-401-k-fee-can-add-insult-to-injury.
A new defense authorization law went into effect on December 23, 2016, which impacts how military pensions may be divided for active members. It does not impact those pension benefits in pay status. Accordingly, divorce attorneys who are involved in a divorce proceeding with an active member should take special caution to the new changes outlined below.
The Ohio State Bar Association recently published an article in its Law You Can Use section, Dividing an OPERS Account After Divorce or Dissolution; the link may be found at the bottom of this page. The article highlighted several important considerations for attorneys and parties when one or both parties is a participant in a state retirement system plan (such as OPERS, SERS, STRS, OP&F, and SHPS). The article discussed the workings of Ohio Division of Property Orders (DOPO), not QDROs, and how they are used in dividing a participant’s benefit.
Ben Nyhan was recently published in the Ohio Association for Justice October 2016 newsletter, The Quarterly, detailing common QDRO mistakes.