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Lawrence D. Gorin
Lawrence D. Gorin, Lawyer.
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I went through a divorce and had to have a qdro written. The

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I went through a divorce and had to have a qdro written. The lawyer that wrote the qdro wrote it so the formula for the company was 50/50 for all the years that I worked for my company. 25 years. I had worked for the company almost 5 years prior to our getting married. I contacted the lawyer and requested it be rewritten to exclude those years we were not married. They said they could not because of the way it was written in the decree. I contacted my ex and she would consider it, but could not afford the costs to go through her lawyer. Do I have the option to petition the court for a change, and how do I do it myself? Also, can an addendum be written to the decree and qdro to make the change ourselves?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

If the court order was already entered and finalized by the court, if your ex spouse will not agree to the change, then you would have to have appealed that decision within 30 days of entry of the order to change it. If you did not appeal within 30 days of entry of the divorce decree you are stuck with the decree and QDRO as written.

If it has not been 30 days since the order was issued and she does not agree to the change, you can file a motion to reconsider and if the court refuses you have to file an appeal based on the court incorrectly including what should have been your separate property in the calculation of the pension entitlement.

If she does agree to the change you can submit a Joint Stipulation to Modify Decree of Divorce and you would write out exactly what you agree upon and that you agree to have the QDRO modified accordingly and submitted to the court. Once you submit it and the court signs the modification, then the attorney can redraft the QDRO in accordance with that order.

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Paul is essentially correct. But if you are going to try to fix the problem here in Oregon, you will need to do so in accordance with Oregon rules. I chime in here only to provide a little additional guidance.

A "motion to reconsider"? No, not under Oregon law. As our Oregon Supreme Court said over 25 years ago, in Carter v. U.S. National Bank, 304 Or. 538, 546, 747 P.2d 980 (1987) (Peterson, C.J., concurring):

The so-called "motion for reconsideration" appears neither in the Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure nor in any other Oregon statute. Lawyers filing motions to reconsider after entry of judgment might better denominate such a motion as a "motion asking for trouble" * * *.

Next, under Oregon law, notwithstanding the terms of your General Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, if you and ex-wife are both in agreement to do a 50/50 split of just the "martial portion" (20/25) of the pension asset (rather than 50/50 of the whole thing, a stipulated "Corrected Supplemental Judgment" (intended to be deemed and treated as a qualified domestic relations order under applicable federal law) could be prepared and submitted to the court for judicial approval.

Larry Gorin
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The divorce was final in 2010 and took until the end of 2012 for the qdro to be written and approved by my company. I only found out about the marital split of my retirement when I talked to the company about the money split. She wrote me a return letter that she is willing to revisit the retirement portion. How do you prepare a "corrected supplemental judgement" and submit it. Also the divorce was finalized in another county than which I reside. Can I submit this in the county that I live in now?

Further information....

The stipulated Corrected Supplemental Judgment will need to be submitted to the Circuit Court of the Oregon county in which the divorce proceeding occurred. Where you presently reside is of no consequence.

Also, asking "How do you prepare a "corrected supplemental judgment" and submit it." is akin to asking for instructions as to how to do a DIY appendectomy or other surgical procedure. Suffice to say that it is a rather technical undertaking. How to get it done depends on the specific facts and circumstances of the particular case involved, with no two cases ever being exactly the same. It would be advisable to confer with a professional.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank You. At least I know I can take some action. You have been very helpful. I now have some basic knowledge to work with. Time is of the essence since my retirement begins the end of this year. I will rate your answers if you send the rating part.

Further answer:
Again, drafting and processing of a Corrected Supplememental Judgment, if done on a stipulated basis (with you and ex-spouse both being in agreement) should not take very long nor be very expensive, particularly if done by somebody who is experienced in such matters and knows what and how to do it (and do it right).

Be aware that most Oregon family law lawyers who are very good at doing divorce work nonetheless often lack a basic understanding about how to divide pension and retirement interests incident to dissolution of marriage. And the problem is aggravated because they do not know or understand that they do not know what they are doing. And as a result, they often screw things up (as in your case) by not using the right wording in the Dissolution Judgment, which lays the foundation for the QDRO that will be subsequently prepared. Which is why there are only a handful of Oregon lawyers who do QDRO law. So be choosy when it comes to choosing.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

you have raised a question. should i use the qdro as written and just have the formula changed, or rewrite a new one completely? the company i worked for has a copy online from them to use as a basis. the company is General Dynamics.

Your further question:
Should i use the qdro as written and just have the formula changed, or rewrite a new one completely?

Further answer....
The question you are asking calls for case-specific analysis rather than simply general legal information. Obviously, given that I have not seen and reviewed the QDRO that was previously prepared and submitted to the Plan, I would only be engaging in guesswork and speculation were I to even attempt to answer your present question. And that would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you. Again, you need to have the matter reviewed by a competent, experienced QDRO drafter in Oregon who will then be able in fully evaluate the situation and determine how best to proceed.

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Lawrence D. Gorin, Lawyer.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1544
Experience: 30+ years of legal expertise. Informed, knowledgeable, helpful.
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