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AttyHeather
AttyHeather, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 677
Experience:  Attorney with 15 years experience
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You, you helped me so much during my divorce two years ago

Customer Question

Hey you , you helped me so much during my divorce two years ago and for that I owe you my success in the case. I have question about the qdro I am filling out, once again I can't afford an attorney to help, so please help me as much as you can. Concerning the pension aspect of division the forms as me for the determination date and I am not sure if that means when he retires or as of the date of divorce? Also is there a difference between valuation date vs determination date? Please advise!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I'm Heather, an attorney with 15 years experience, and I'd like to assist for informational purposes.

Valuation date is most often referring to the date that the benefits are valued. Normally, this is the date you are divorced/the date the judge signs/enters the decree of divorce.

However, the forms and definitions assigned by each company can possibly be different. In the documents you have, has the company given a definition for these terms?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hold on let me peek, I seam to recall its vague
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It says in def. of terms that "the plan permits payment to begin ASAP (paraphrase) following the determination that the order has been qualified " however on the form I fill out it says " the vested accrued benefit under the plan is as of the following date of determination and it say insert date?" Does that help?
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 1 year ago.

It sounds like the determination date from which which benefits are to be calculated. What is the def it uses for valuation date?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'll get to both. On determination date it says "the date of determination is the date of which to calculate the participants accrued benefit from the plan in order to determine the alternate payees designated portion in accordance with this order." That's for the pension, valuation is on the 401k so I'll look at that. The problem is what date is the date of determination for a pension, when divorce was final, when he retires, when I retire? Divorce papers so not state they just say I get 50%.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Valuation date on the 401k says 50% to me as of the valuation date and leaves that blank for me to fill in. Looking to see if model language explains that real quick . Thank you so much!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
See if you can read valuation date or I will type it out!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This maybe better
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 1 year ago.

Can you send me the photo of the doc re: determination date also?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This I think
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That's my problem it really doesn't explain and I went over it several times what exactly they determine date is supposed to be. When he retires when I retire when we got the divorce I have no idea
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I know it could mean potential he 100 things and it's hard to gather the actual complete fax with just a snippet here and there. All I know is the divorce decree says I'm entitled to 50% of his pension And gives no date. From what I have read getting the states wrong could mean the difference between $300 a month or $3000 a month. I'm just scared to put the wrong thing in any advice would be very helpful
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dates not states sorry Siri
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 1 year ago.

Based on what you have sent me, it appears that they are possibly using the terms interchangeably. The date of determination definition they have given you is a bit ambiguous.

You have not sent me anywhere it has you fill in the date of determination. If they do not mean the last date through which you've accrued benefits, I believe it's quite likely this term is referring to the date that the benefits are actually calculated, which would be the processing date - the date they processed the qdro, which you would not know yet, because you do not know what date they are going to process the paperwork.

The date of valuation would be the date you were divorced, as long as that's the date the court intended you to continue accruing benefits. That seems pretty clear.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK let me just send you the part where they ask me to fill in the date real quick
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Valuation date
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Determination date 401k
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry valuation was 401k pension is date of determination
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm thinking the valuation date for the 401K means the date of divorce. But the determination date confuses me because I don't know if it means from the date of divorce or the day when he retires or I retire and that's the big thing I have to figure out
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 1 year ago.

I believe they are using the terms interchangeably. Are they coming from the same document, or different documents?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Two different documents from the same company one for the 401(k) and one for the pension.
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 1 year ago.

The fact that they are 2 different documents makes me think the terms mean the same thing. I have done alot of QDROs and occasionally I have to telephone the administrator and ask what is meant by a term. Is there a phone number you can call tomorrow? If so, that's probably your best bet, but I believe both terms mean the same thing.

Expert:  AttyHeather replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I see that you have viewed my response but not stated if I answered your question. Please reply and state if I have answered your question, or if you have followup questions, you can go ahead and ask them. If not, kindly give me a positive rating. Thank you.