Heymann & Fletcher

How to avoid the need for post-divorce modifications

Many New Jersey residents are aware that there is a possibility of addressing divorce "mistakes" once a divorce has been made final. However, post-divorce modifications are often more complicated than many people think. In addition, it is difficult to guarantee that a request for modification will result in the desired outcome. A far better approach is to take a proactive stance in the matter.

One area in which spouses can reduce the need to seek an eventual modification is in regard to  the division of retirement assets. As part of a divorce, a document known as a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO, will need to be prepared. This is the document that outlines how retirement assets will be divided between spouses.

Mistakes on the QDRO can have expensive consequences. In order for the document to serve its intended function, it is important that it is properly prepared, and that all requirements of the relevant retirement plan are met. One way to ensure that the QDRO has been properly drafted is to hire the services of a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. That professional cannot only check for errors in the documentation, but can also assist a spouse in creating a post--divorce budget.

For those in New Jersey who are concerned about adding yet another expense to their ongoing divorce, it is important to understand that a financial analyst could potentially find and correct errors that can be far more costly than his or her services. In addition, there is a value that comes with the peace of mind of knowing that more than one set of eyes has reviewed all divorce documentation. At the end of the day, getting things right the first time around can help avoid the need to seek post-divorce modifications.

Source: kiplinger.com, "QDRO: Critical Letters in a Divorce Case", Andrew McNair, March 24, 2017

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