FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is there a Statute of Limitations for submitting a QDRO?
No. There is no statute of limitations for preparing a QDRO. It is generally best to have the QDRO prepared, signed, and entered simultaneously with the entry of the Divorce Decree. There are risks to the Alternate Payee for delaying entry of the QDRO. And because of that, there are corresponding malpractice risks to the Alternate Payee's lawyer for delaying entry of the QDRO. But there is no time limit beyond which the QDRO cannot be submitted.
Who qualifies as an Alternate Payee?
A person must be the spouse, former spouse, child, or legal dependent of the Participant to be recognized as an Alternate Payee.
My girlfriend and I lived together for 13 years, but we were never married. We broke up six months ago and now she wants 1/2 of my 401K. Can she do that?
Here's a real quick legal analysis based on the facts you provided. In order for your ex-girlfriend to be entitled to any portion of your 401K, she must establish that she qualifies as an Alternate Payee as defined by the law. The law defines an Alternate Payee as your spouse, former spouse, child, or legal dependent. Unless your ex-girlfriend can prove that you were married, or that she is your legal dependent somehow, she will not be able to receive any portion of your 401K.
Why does my QDRO say that loans are included? Shouldn't they be excluded?
Your 401K consists of two amounts. The liquid amount that the plan invests on your behalf. If there is an outstanding loan amount, that loan amount is separate from the