Your Retirement Division Co-Counsel: A QDRO Consigliere

Lawyer and Legal Professional Retirement Division & QDRO Subscription Service

Family Law Attorneys Have it Tough.

How We
Can Help

By the time I left law school, I knew I wanted to do family law. I had interned in the practice area and worked in courts, and the issues that these lawyers faced on a daily basis — pretty much spanning every conceivable legal field — both fascinated me and promised a future where I would never be bored.

Family law attorneys have to be proficient in divorce, custody, criminal law, property law, estate planning, taxation, and even the occasional dip into business law.

It is no wonder then that most family law attorneys that I speak to are overwhelmed when it comes to issues of retirement division and ERISA benefits law. Most of the attorneys I practiced with when I started my career in California would hand off these issues to their favorite QDRO attorney. And when it came time to write the divorce settlement agreement, they would simply write things like “plans to be divided by QDRO” or at best, give the client a list of QDRO attorneys at the end of the case that the client could then retain.

I get it. Family law attorneys already have to know so much. None of them want to become familiar with the intricacies of federal retirement and state domestic relations law, and their lovechild: the QDRO. It’s a boring niche that few of us have the patience to learn and love.

But your clients need more than a “TBD by QDRO” line in their agreement. Often, the retirement accounts are the most valuable assets to be divided. Countless clients have come to me with a settlement agreement that did not address survivor benefits in the event one party died, or whom have accepted a settlement agreement thinking they could cash out a plan which, in reality, would not pay anything until the other party retired decades later.

Don’t give your clients bad advice and don’t skip past their biggest assets. With a subscription to our QDRO-on-call service, you get unlimited consultations with a QDRO attorney, settlement language that addresses the ins and outs of retirement benefits better than your standard “TBD” one-liner, and educational resources to slowly increase your knowledge of this important, yet dry field.

Pension, 401k, 457, 403b? No problem.

We split Nest Eggs so You Don't Have to.

Unlimited Consultations

Do you have a question about a specific retirement plan? We’d be happy to look up the information for you.

Can that plan be cashed out? Hold on, we’ll find out.

Should we offset these two plans against each other? Or are the rates of return so different that we would be exchanging apples and porcupines?

These are the sort of questions that will come up in every single divorce case that you can’t overlook, but probably don’t have time to research. We already have the scoop on most popular plans, and if we don’t have it, we will need it eventually when it comes time to draft the QDROs. 

Less Loose Ends in Settlements

The first question I get from most perspective QDRO pro per clients is this: how long is this going to take?

It’s a loaded question, but the thing that derails these QDROs faster than any other factor our disagreements over ancillary benefits, things like:

  • Pre-retirement survivor benefits;
  • Post-retirement survivor benefits;
  • Pension plan payment options;
  • Plan, QDRO drafting, and court fees;
 

The swing in terms of plan valuation from even the smallest change in one of these choices can mean hundreds of dollars a month, or thousands of dollars over the course of a person’s lifetime.

How do most attorneys deal with this? “TBD by QDRO attorney.”  Let us draft the settlement language for you and don’t leave loose ends to surprise your client in a decade or two, when she gets around to actually hiring a QDRO lawyer.

Willie Peacock was amazing and provided the best service. His professionalism, diligence, happy & positive heart, as well as his dedication to getting the job done was again amazing. I am extremely happy with my choice and the outcome! You will not be disappointed! Thank you again Willie!

-J, a happy Former Client

Why lawyers and Legal Pros Should Deal With QDRO Issues.

It's Good For You, Too.

There are major benefits to you, the legal professional, to handling the QDRO while the divorce is pending. 

Like what? For one, it can help you get paid. One of the biggest issues divorce lawyers face is that their clients run out of money before the case is over. Many cannot walk away for ethical or other reasons, or they simply tell themselves that “the client is good for it and I will get paid eventually.” 

A QDRO on a defined contribution plan (your 401k, for example) can immediately free up cash if the alternate payee chooses to cash out his or her share. For an attorney, that is a quick way to get your final bill settled.

Also, it you bill by the hour, you may be hesitant to hand off this work to another attorney. But remember, you will still have to review it before advising your client to sign it. There are still billable hours to be had.

Everything But The QDROs

And a discount on those too.
$ 100 Monthly
  • Unlimited calls, texts, and email consults.
  • Plan research.
  • Settlement language customized to your plans and parties.
  • Discounted QDROs and DROs: $150 each

All-In, With The QDROs

You bring the clients, we bring the ERISA party.
$ 500 Monthly
  • Unlimited calls, texts, and email consults.
  • Plan research.
  • Settlement language customized to your plans and parties.
  • Unlimited QDROs, DROs, and DBOs.

Expertise on Call

Call, Email, or Text

You are going to have QDRO issues in a divorce. It is guaranteed.

How awesome would it be to have someone you can call, email, or text about your specific questions and expect a response within hours?

Plan Research

We deal with plan administrators so you don't have to

One of the biggest pains in QDRO services is dealing with the administrator’s of QDRO plans. Every plan has its own rules, suggested form language, and timeline for pre-approving QDRO’s and executing final orders.

Instead of familiarizing yourself with every single plans rules, or sitting on hold with the plan each time a new client comes in, lean on us to do the research for you.

Learn a Little

Enough to be dangerous, at least.

If I hadn’t been a lawyer, I probably would have been a teacher. In fact, I kind of am.

I’ve taught the LSAT. I’ve taught CLE’s across the country. My classes on QDROs and military retirement division have received better feedback and reviews than I ever could have imagined.

You may not want to become a QDRO expert but a little bit of knowledge, here and there, can’t hurt. For our subscribers, we maintain a library of resources as well as a quarterly newsletter and other educational benefits to get you up to speed on retirement division basics.

Like an in-house QDRO Attorney, Minus the Payroll and Benefits.

Even if you could hire a QDRO lawyer, your firm probably would not use him enough to justify the cost. I’m a better alternative: an on-call QDRO attorney whose monthly subscription rate is far less than you’d pay an experienced associate attorney.

More on What We Do

Don't Get Surprised by QDRO Traps

We’ve seen a lot of QDROs, and by extension, a lot of mistakes.

Issues that may arise With QDROs

  • Vague divorce settlement language omits or inadequately addresses retirement accounts
  • Reluctant parties will not sign
  • Plans have rejected your prior attempts at QDROs
  • Loans or separate and community property are mixed.

Attorneys & Staff

William "willie" peacock, Esq.

Willie is an attorney licensed to practice in California since 2011. He has since added admissions in Missouri, New York, New Jersey, and Iowa, with Kansas and North Dakota pending.

He was born and raised in Missouri, went to high school and college in California, and returned there after attending the prestigious Washington and Lee University, School of Law in Lexington, Virginia. He relocated to New York and relaunched his law firm in 2018, focusing exclusively on retirement – estate planning and division of retirement accounts through qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs).

He has written for Thomson Reuters, Clio, and California Lawyer, and his writings have been cited by the American Bar Association, Above the Law, and other leading legal publications.

He is currently rated a perfect 10.0 by Avvo.com, and more importantly, has a perfect 5-star rating from his past clients on all major review sites.