My company provides a QDRO form. Why not use that instead?

Unless you understand everything written in the form QDRO, and are sure that nothing is missing, you shouldn't use one. 

Businesses have no requirements to provide a fair QDRO. Their perspective is one of minimizing losses. Businesses and other institutions who sponsor retirement plans need to pay someone (usually, a lot of someone's) to review and execute QDROs, which takes substantial recordkeeping, paperwork, etc. Likewise, QDROs generally take money out of the Plan by making a distribution to the alternate payee. In some cases, QDROs require the Plan to pay out two people for their lifetimes, instead of one.

Model QDROs are therefore often written to meet the best interest of the Plan sponsor, not your best interest. They will usually have instructions for the Plan to be divided via the easiest method. However, it's not all about what model QDROs have. It's also about what they don't have. They usually do not include language that should be written to protect you from the potential for the plan or your ex-spouse to take advantage of you. Some model QDROs even use language that is directly against your interest, such as forgoing an available retirement option that you may prefer, or electing for certain fees to be your responsibility when the could be split between you and your ex-spouse, instead. 

Please see our Terms & Conditions for the limitations on relying on this information. 

Why should I hire a QDRO attorney?

Why should I have to pay for this?