Arkansas law requires a fair division of property between divorcing spouses. That standard is applied after considering all the marital assets that can be identified and valued in a union.

That “find, value and apportion” exercise is often taxing. The list of assets in many marriages can fill a notebook. Many couples have property ranging broadly from realty holdings and heirlooms to multiple savings accounts and wide-ranging personal items.

And then there are company-sponsored and various other retirement accounts that are often held by one or both spouses seeking to divorce. Unlike most marital assets, things like IRAs, pensions and 401(k} accounts cannot be quickly and easily divided without tax penalties.

Relevant American law has long anticipated that and provided for the splitting of a retirement account without liability ensuing for either the account holder or the so-called alternate payee. The process for doing so is outlined in federal provisions applicable to what is termed a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.

Thankfully, the law is commonly cited in shorthand form, as a QDRO. As noted, a QDRO legally sanctions the division of an affected retirement account in a manner that ensures no tax penalties are assessed on the account holder or recipient.

We note on our website at the established Little Rock family law firm of Robertson, Oswalt, Nony & Associates that parties petitioning a court for a QDRO will have some homework to do first. Every family situation is different, with select factors playing into how a QDRO apportionment will look or whether such an order is even advisable.

A proven family law attorney with a deep well of experience in divorce-linked asset division matters can fully explain the QDRO process and help a divorcing client reasonably determine whether to request such an order.