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Divorce: Saving Asset Division from Defective, Poorly Drafted QDROs and Closing Documents

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will offer family law attorneys best strategies and solutions to righting the problems created by defectively drafted or improperly administered qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs) for defined benefit and defined contribution plans. The program will also identify some of the most common causes of defective QDROs and how to avoid them.


Defined contribution plans such as 401(k)s often represent the bulk of many individuals' assets, and dividing such accounts is one of the most critical aspects of divorce. There are many different pensions and retirement plans, and individuals may have several different kinds of retirement assets, all with different rules and benefits.

Counsel must also understand complex federal and state rules for each so that a QDRO is properly worded and properly calculated. Pension law and drafting QDROs are among the most complex and difficult parts of family law. As a result, many lawyers end up creating defective QDROs or incompletely or incorrectly administering them, with drastic results. When a client turns to counsel to address this problem, family law attorneys must know how these errors arose and what fixes are possible, and when.

However, if you are not familiar or comfortable with the nuance laws governing these pensions then you might consider a plan for initiating the use of an appropriate expert.

Listen as this experienced panel guides counsel through how to identify the underlying flaws in QDROs and what can be done to rectify them.



  1. Overview of QDRO and ERISA requirements
  2. Common QDRO procedural, drafting, and administration mistakes
  3. Best strategies for correcting common errors
  4. Common drafting errors in final decrees and closing documents


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What plan discovery information should be requested and reviewed before drafting a QDRO?
  • Should you trust a plan's QDRO sample language?
  • What are the most common types of errors?
  • What is the ideal timing for initiation of an expert?


Burris, Kelly
Kelly L. Burris

Senior Litigation Partner
Cordell & Cordell

Ms. Burris has settled and litigated complex custody cases and property cases involving multi-million dollar estates....  |  Read More

Mantia, Michael
Michael M. Mantia

Senior Litigation Attorney
Cordell & Cordell

Mr. Mantia is lead counsel for Cordell & Cordell’s retirement benefits department. He focuses his efforts on...  |  Read More

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Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

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