5 Common Misconceptions About Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO) in Arizona

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When it comes to divorce and dividing property, there are a lot of misconceptions floating around. Below we will dispel five of the most common myths about QDROs in Arizona. Keep in mind that these are generalizations and each situation is unique – so always consult with an attorney if you have specific questions.

1. QDROs are only for people with a retirement account

One of the most common misconceptions about QDROs is that they are only for people with retirement accounts. While it is true that QDROs are often used to divide retirement accounts, they can be used for any type of property, including life insurance policies, real estate, and even cars or other personal belongings. The reason QDROs are so versatile is that they are simply orders from a court that dictate how a piece of property should be divided. As long as there is a court order in place, a QDRO can be used to divide any type of property. So, if you are concerned about dividing your assets in a divorce, don’t worry, a QDRO can probably be used to help you do just that.

2. QDROs are only for divorces

Another common misconception about QDROs is that they are only for people who are getting divorced. While QDROs are often used in divorce situations, they can be used in a variety of different situations. For example, if you are married and your spouse dies, a QDRO can be used to ensure that you receive your fair share of the property. QDROs can also be used in situations where couples are simply separating, but not necessarily getting divorced. 

3. You need to have an attorney to get a QDRO

While it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney, you do not necessarily need one to get a QDRO. If you and your spouse can agree on how to divide your property, you can simply draft your QDRO. However, if you are not able to agree on how to divide your property, you may need to go through the court system to get a QDRO. In either case, it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney beforehand so that you can be sure you are getting what you are entitled to.

4. QDROs are always enforceable

Just because you have a QDRO does not mean that it is automatically enforceable. If your spouse does not comply with the terms of the QDRO, you may need to go back to court to get it enforced. However, if you and your spouse can agree on how to divide your property, then the QDRO should be enforceable. If you do need to go back to court, the judge will look at whether or not the QDRO is fair and equitable. If it is, then the judge will likely order your spouse to comply with the terms of the QDRO. If you have any questions about whether or not your QDRO is enforceable, you should speak with an experienced family law attorney.

5. QDROs are always fair

While QDROs are often fair, there is no guarantee that they will be. Each situation is unique and the court will always have the final say in how your property is divided.

If you and your spouse cannot agree on how to divide your property, the court will look at a variety of factors to determine what is fair. Some of these factors include:

  • The age and health of the parties
  • The income and earning potential of the parties
  • The standard of living the parties are accustomed to
  • The length of the marriage
  • The contribution of each party to the marriage
  • The custody arrangement of any minor children

If you are considering a divorce in Arizona, it is important to educate yourself about the potential financial implications. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) can be an important part of protecting your assets and ensuring that you receive your fair share during and after a divorce. However, there are many misconceptions about QDROs, so it is important to speak with an attorney who understands this complex area of law. Contact our office today for a free consultation to discuss how a QDRO could impact your divorce proceedings.

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The attorneys at GillespieShields are well-versed in a variety of different legal fields, ranging from family law to civil suits, employment disputes and probate cases. Although we specialize in several areas of practice, our greatest passion is family law. We believe in giving families peace of mind no matter their situation, and we fight hard to maintain that peace. Whether you’re filing for dissolution or divorce, determining custody of your children, or thinking about adopting children, our experienced attorneys are here to help you every step of the way.  During our private, one-on-one consultation, we’ll take the necessary time to answer any and all of our questions surrounding Arizona’s family laws, your family’s unique situation, and the possible court outcomes. Contact us today for your consultation!


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