Divorce: What are QDROs and how do they work?

Mary Ballin / Aug 21, 2018 / Financial Planning / Divorce

You may hear the acronym “QDRO” used quite a bit in the process of getting a divorce, and for good reason: a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) may play an important role in your resolution.

Finding a fair settlement utilizing a QDRO as a tool is naturally the goal, but it isn't always easy.

Don't underestimate the plan administrator's power, how QDROs are constructed, or the importance of specificity. Let's take a closer look at these and other considerations.


Divorce: 5 Money Tips for the Financially Passive Spouse

Mary Ballin / Jul 26, 2018 / Financial Planning / Divorce / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management

Often, in many marriages, one of the spouses assumes the role of “financial lead.” This person manages the couple’s money, pays the bills, works on the taxes, and understands where all of the important papers and assets are located.

So long as the couple remains together and are happily married, this arrangement can work fine. Unfortunately when there is one spouse who doesn’t participate actively in financial decisions, they put themselves at a disadvantage in a divorce situation.

The non-financial spouse can quickly feel very vulnerable, like they are at a noticeable disadvantage. 

What happens to this spouse in the event of a divorce?



Divorce: Taking a special needs child into account

Mary Ballin / Jul 5, 2018 / Financial Planning / Divorce / Kids and Money

Divorce is one of the most stressful life transitions a person can go through, but that stress isn’t the same for everyone. Your divorce can be significantly more stressful if children—particularly those with special needs—are involved. 

Children should always be a focal point of any divorce proceeding. But children with special needs change how a divorce should be negotiated, so let’s break down some of the unique considerations that need to be taken into account if a special needs child is part of a household that is divorcing. 


Deciding What to Do With the Family Home After Divorce

Mary Ballin / Nov 15, 2016 / Financial Planning / Divorce

The family house is where you create and store memories. Family gathers for the holidays, babies come home from the hospital, children and pets rampage through the backyard and much more. It is the place that we retreat to when we are tired or sick. It is home.

But when a couple decides to divorce, they must figure out what to do with the house. You must weigh the pros and cons before making a decision that could be financially harmful to you down the road.

Here are key financial issues you must consider when deciding what to do with the house:


Women: How to keep divorce from ruining your financial future

Mary Ballin / Mar 29, 2016 / Financial Planning / Divorce / Women and Money

Divorce is usually traumatic for everyone involved — well, except the divorce attorneys — but ample research shows that in many ways it’s harder on women.

Women who divorced at least once in their life were 24% more likely to have a heart attack than women who stayed married, according to a 2015 study by Duke University researchers, and divorcing more than once pushed the risk to 77%. Even after remarriage, women’s risks remained higher. Conversely, men’s risks increased only after two divorces, and remarrying wiped away the higher heart attack potential.

Within a year of divorcing, more women than men live in poverty and receive public assistance. They earn less money and are less likely to be able to afford to live independently, according to 2009 U.S. Census Bureau data. Divorce can hurt not just a woman’s income but her credit standing and retirement savings as well.

It’s important that women understand how these issues are likely to affect them, so they can prepare themselves as they transition into the next chapter of their lives.