Courts Require Joinder When Filing QDRO But The Plan May Not

I have been getting a lot of calls regarding the Joinder and QDRO process and a few times it has come up where I am being advised by the client that the pension plan or 401k plan is not requiring the joinder. So I wanted to clear this issue up.

While the plan may not require the Joinder (and this is rare) it is the Court that requires the Joinder whenever you are dividing a pension and are going to file a QDRO. In fact, if you try to file a QDRO with the court without the Joinder, the Court will reject the QDRO filing and ask that you first file the Joinder.

Listen for more info on the Joinder / QDRO process and / or keep reading below…
I recorded this podcast while on a walk so there is a little background wind noise…

We had a new client call us the other day and say they tried to file their QDRO and it was rejected by the court. The court indicated that the plan needs to be first joined to the dissolution action. See below reject sheet.

QDRO Reject Letter
QDRO Reject Letter

But what does it mean to “Join?”  In the simplest terms it just means you are joining or bringing the QDRO process into the divorce case and essentially adding the plan as a party to the case.   So once the plan in joined to the divorce case, the court will be able to process the QDRO.

I also wrote another article about the actual QDRO process here.

If you have any questions about our service of preparing and handling your Joinder / QDRO please give us a call.