Qualified Domestic Relations Order

We recently received a favorable appellate decision on behalf of our client whose ex-husband tried to manipulate their divorce agreement regarding distribution of his New Jersey PERS pension (“pension”) nearly three decades after the agreement was signed.  We did not represent her at the time of the divorce, but did represent her to defend against

As matrimonial lawyers, we often come across cases involving a pension that is subject to equitable distribution.  While New Jersey’s equitable distribution statute involves several factors for consideration in dividing assets, the most common way by which a pension is divided is, in legal speak, “50/50 of the marital portion.”  On its face, that seems

Throughout the course of this blog’s existence in the family law blogosphere, we have cautioned and advised on the pitfalls of failing to timely divide retirement assets.  An entry addressing this issue dating back almost two years can be found here, only showing how this important issue is one that divorcing parties often do not consider, but are faced with after the divorce is finalized.  How about on the flip-side of the coin, so to speak?  For the party whose retirement asset is to be divided, what is "fair and equitable" for equitable distribution as to when the asset should be divided and at what value?

The Appellate Division recently addressed this issue in the matter of Ejiofor v. Ejiofor, where it reversed and remanded a trial court’s decision for a determination of the current value of the husband’s share of the wife’s retirement accounts. 


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Most people are overwhelmed during the process of a divorce.  Stress and emotions run high, there are the added time constraints of the court and the daunting tasks of discovery, court mandated appearances and either a trial or coming to a final resolution.  When the judge signs off on the final judgment of divorce a great weight can be lifted and its easy to feel that the process is over.

Oftentimes, this is not the case.  What has been referred to as ‘loose ends’ can easily be overlooked and forgotten.  A perfect example is the finalization and submission of Qualified Domestic Relations Order (“QDRO”) to plan administrators for the division of qualified and some times non-qualified retirement plans and benefits.  I have previously blogged on this issue.  To read those entries, click here and here.


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Several months ago, I posted a blog entry regarding the need to get Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO) done as shortly after or even before a divorce is finalized.  To read that entry, click here.

Most recently, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision, which only serves to strengthen the message of that blog. 

In the unreported Appellate Dvision matter of Panza v. Panza, the Court reversed the trial court and remanded the matter back to determine how the litigant should be compensated for the delay in the division of an asset subject to equitable distribution.  The distribution was delayed because of the husband’s failure to get a