Responding to a QDRO

mens divorce lawyer William BackerQuestion:

This week I received a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) to sign. My wife’s lawyer told me I had to have it signed, notarized and returned within one business day or she is going to file a Motion for Entry and take me to court.

Shouldn’t I legally be allowed more time to review this order than just one day? A QDRO is confusing and I don’t want to rush through my review without being given a reasonable amount of time to respond.


I do not practice in the State of Texas. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of Texas. Cordell & Cordell has attorneys who are licensed in Texas who would be willing to discuss the specific facts of your case with you.

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) can be a very complicated and technical order. There are many pitfalls associated with drafting QDRO’s. Therefore, prior to signing the QDRO, I would advise you to consult an attorney to review the QDRO on your behalf. You should specifically consult an attorney who is experienced domestic relations, and who has experience in drafting and litigating issues associated with QDRO’s.

If your wife’s attorney is going to file a Motion for Entry and take you to court, the attorney would have to file a motion and schedule a hearing with the court. You would be entitled to receive a copy of the motion and notice of the hearing date, which would typically be five to seven days. At the hearing, you would be entitled to be heard by the judge to explain why you did not sign and return the QDRO within a business day.

Unless there was a previous order from the judge in your case specifically ordering you to sign the QDRO and return it within one business day (which would be very unusual) the judge will allow you a reasonable amount of time to consult your attorney and sign the document and return it to your wife’s attorney.

Due to the complexities and pitfalls associated with QDRO’s, it is very unlikely that the judge will take action against you for not signing and returning the QDRO with just one day to review it.

You may be able to retain an attorney for the sole purpose of reviewing the QDRO in your case.


William F. Backer is an Associate Attorney in the Arnold, Missouri office of Cordell & Cordell where he practices domestic relations exclusively. Mr. Backer is licensed in the State of Missouri. Mr. Backer received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with emphasis in Accounting, from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. He then went on to receive his Juris Doctor from Saint Louis University School of Law in 1999.

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