The Cain Law Firm maintains a significant practice helping domestic relations attorneys draft and implement qualified domestic relations orders (“QDROs”). The QDRO process is time-consuming and requires a level of ERISA knowledge that most domestic relations attorneys just do not want to learn. Instead, the firm has developed a program called QDRO Help that will allow those attorneys to outsource the QDRO drafting and negotiating to a knowledgeable, responsive attorney that:
- has extensive ERISA experience;
- can negotiate with both the adverse party and the retirement plan administrator;
- draft QDROs that will be acceptable to the plan administrator and provide the most protection to the client; and
- accept legal responsibility for the drafting and negotiating of the QDRO.
There are many QDRO services available. However, the main difference is that QDRO Help is a service of an actual law firm based in Tennessee. As a result, the arrangement allows the domestic relations attorney to control exactly how much (or how little) involvement in the QDRO process he or his wishes to have. The attorney can outsource the entire QDRO drafting and execution or can just call for advice (and anything in between). The attorney can do any of the following:
- refer a client and allow the client to engage the firm for the sole purpose of drafting the QDRO;
- engage the firm on a fee-sharing basis to draft the QDRO; or
- engage the firm on an “advice only” basis to help the attorney draft the QDRO.
That difference has several benefits:
The initial consultation (with the attorney or the attorney’s client) is free. Simply call or email us. From that point, the attorney (or the attorney’s client) can initiate representation and we will take control of the QDRO process. If plan statements and/or plan documents are already available, those documents can be forwarded to us and we will go from there. Or, we will conduct the discovery. Our fees are based on the amount of responsibility we assume.
- the attorney can get rid of the legal responsibility for the QDRO (if desired);
- the attorney can delegate discovery of the adverse party’s retirement plans; and
- the attorney can avoid having to complete forms telling the QDRO service provider how to divide the retirement assets.