American Bar Association American Bar Association

Employee Benefit Considerations in Domestic Relations Matters: QDROs and QMCSOs

SPONSORS: The Sections of Business Law, Health Law, Labor and Employment Law, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, Taxation, and Tort Trial and Insurance Practice; And the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel

General Information

A 90-minute TeleConference/Audio Webcast
From the program held February 14, 2008

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm ET / 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm CT / 11:00 am -12:30 pm MT / 10:00 am - 11:30 am PT

Retirement plan benefits are often the largest asset a couple has.  Nonetheless, couples seldom have a good understanding of their retirement benefits.  When they are contemplating a divorce, their divorce attorneys also often do not understand how retirement plans work.  This teleconference will discuss the basics of drafting and reviewing qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs) and qualified medical child support orders (QMCSOs).  We will provide practical examples and discuss thorny issues, both from the point of view of the drafter of the order and the response of counsel for the plan.  Topics covered will include: 

  • What are the requirements for QDROs?
  • Methods of dividing retirement benefits:  shared interes QDROs and separate interest QDROs
  • Application to defined benefit, defined contribution and nonqualified deferred compensation plans
  • Importance and substantive effect of plan procedures
  • Post-retirement and post-death QDROs
  • Use of QDROs for alimony and child support
  • Division of early retirement benefits
  • What are QMCSOs, and when should they be used?


Joyce A. Mader, O’Donoghue & O’Donoghue LLP, Washington, DC


Lisa M. Gomez, Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP, New York, NY

Linda E. Rosenzweig, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Washington, DC


Please mail checks to ABA-JCEB, 740 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC

Employee Benefit Considerations in Domestic Relations Matters: QDROs and QMCSOs
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