Most of the family lawyers I know do not draft a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) for their clients. QDROs are pretty technical beasts, and there are many fine Michigan firms that specialize in drafting them. An opinion released by the Michigan Court of Appeals last week serves as a good example of why drafting of QDROs should be left to an expert. The questions raised in this case were complicated and were addressed in the trial court four times before the issue finally got to the COA.
In Williams v Estate of Williams, Docket No. 307607 (March 28, 2013, unpublished), the COA reversed the trial court's order amending a QDRO 13 years after it initially was entered, vacated the amended QDRO, and reinstated the original QDRO.The net result was this: The former spouse, named as the "surviving spouse" in the QDRO, received 100% of the Plan benefits after death of the Participant. This included the Participant's pre-marital portion, the marital portion, and everything that accrued afterwards during the Participant's 39-year career at Ford.