A qualified domestic relations order is a type of court order that a couple in Texas might need if they are dividing a retirement account in a divorce. A QDRO allows distributions from a 401(k) or a pension plan without penalties or taxes. It is not necessary with an IRA, but there may be other regulations. For example, a distribution from an IRA should be rolled into another IRA.
It may seem counterintuitive for Texas couples to think about divorce while planning a wedding, but the high divorce rates suggest that may be a pragmatic strategy for individuals with assets they'd like to protect if their marriages fail. Removing uncertainty is always good and can even help a marriage prosper by allowing couples to focus on the present more fully.
In Texas and across the United States, the past 25 years have seen the divorce rate for people over age 50 more than double, and this trend is continuing to rise. While divorce can be complex and difficult at any stage of life, carrying an array of financial, emotional and practical consequences, it can present unique challenges for people divorcing later in life after a long-term marriage. This is especially true when the couple has accumulated a significant amount of assets over the years of their marriage.