Using Qualified Domestic Relations Orders to Collect Child Support Arrears

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is a court order requiring a portion of a retirement plan to be assigned, typically to the former spouse, however, QDROs can also be assigned to a child or other dependent of the participant in order to collect current or past due child support.

What Happens If the Payor Continues to Fail to Pay Child Support?

A QDRO can be used to collect child support arrearages. Although child support is generally not taxable income to the recipient, many plans will tax the recipient of the distribution from the QDRO for an arrearage. However, the payor will incur the tax liability if the child is named in the alternate payee in the QDRO.

A reminder is that plan administrators will withhold 20% of the amount for tax purposes. This discrepancy can be accounted for by requesting a higher amount than is actually needed to account for the 20% tax withholding.

How Can Current Child Support Be Paid Using a QDRO?

Language regarding child support payments can be added to a proposed QDRO and the QDRO can set up how the child support payments will be paid moving forward.

Kogut & Wilson’s team of legal advocates recognizes that, for many of our clients, their children are the most important consideration in their divorce or parentage proceeding. Contact Kogut & Wilson at (312) 565-4100 to explore your options and see if using a QDRO is a good fit for your family.


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