Book - Looseleaf

Dividing Pensions in Divorce: Negotiating and Drafting Safe Settlements with QDROs and Present Values, Third Edition

Dividing Pensions in Divorce: Negotiating and Drafting Safe Settlements with QDROs and Present Values, Third Edition

Dividing Pensions in Divorce: Negotiating and Drafting Safe Settlements with QDROs and Present Values, Third Edition

By Gary A. Shulman, David I. Kelley, Daniel E. Kelley
Publish Date
Product Line
Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.
Available formats


Dividing Pensions in Divorce: Negotiating and Drafting Safe Settlements with QDROs and Present Values provides an expert chronological analysis on every important issue regarding Qualified Domestic Relations Orders and present values. Don't lose thousands of dollars in assets by being fooled by incomplete and inaccurate pension present values - Dividing Pensions in Divorce will help you:

  • Understand complex present value issues
  • Draft airtight QDROs that maximize your clients’ property rights
  • Prepare for trial with detailed guidance on a host of commonly litigated issues
  • And more!

Written by Gary Shulman, David Kelley and Daniel Kelley, nationally recognized pension experts with more than 60 years of combined pension and actuarial experience, Dividing Pensions in Divorce delivers proven techniques and strategies the authors have honed in drafting and reviewing over 100,000 QDROs and 80,000 present values.

Benefit from their experience with:

  • Clear, straightforward explanations of over 300 points of law, including disability pensions, the role of Social Security in dividing pensions, survivorship rights, early retirement subsidies, the coverture formula, and more
  • Winning strategies for complying with even the most complex legal, regulatory, and legislative requirements
  • State-of-the-art model QDROs you can easily adapt to your own cases
  • Step-by-step analysis of how a present value is calculated
  • Case studies, attorney's checklists, and sample questions for opposing experts
  • And much more!

Dividing Pensions in Divorce protects you with specific advice organized chronologically from the first client interview, through the discovery process and the preparation and drafting of the settlement agreements, QDROs and present values.The authors provide you with precise language, model forms and letters as well as the best (and time-tested) model QDROs in the business.

Dividing Pensions in Divorce will give you the confidence to handle any challenging pension issue. It will soon be second-nature for you to:

  • Craft a safe settlement agreement for your client that secures your client's pension benefit entitlements
  • Argue the major pension and 401(k) issues so that your negotiations are convincing to the other side - and the court - as reasonable, fact and standard-based conclusions
  • Understand and draft the critical language that should be included in every separation agreement
  • Demystify the world of QDROs by reviewing the seven essential areas every QDRO must address
  • And much more!

Dividing Pensions in Divorce has been updated to include:

  • A new discussion of the importance of getting the plan name right in your QDRO
  • Advice on how to avoid career-tripping mistakes in present values
  • Help in deciding whether a PBGC, IRC § 417(e), or other pension present value method is appropriate in your case
  • New questions and detailed reasoning to challenge both PBGC and IRC § 417(e) present values
  • New insights and case law into how to fight the double-dipping of pensions
  • New § 22.25 that presents adiscussion on the topic of administrators' placing holds on participants' accounts upon receipt of "Draft" QDROs
  • Revised model QDROs for defined contribution plans, addressing the commencement of benefits for the alternate payee
  • New tax tables that will enable you to determine the tax implications of dividing a defined benefit or defined contribution plan
  • A revised discussion on dividing railroad retirement plans to show attorneys how to guarantee payments to the
ISBN: 9780735581753
SKU: 10045111-7777

Part I: Analyzing and Planning

  • Overview of Dividing Pensions and 401(k)s
  • Meeting Your Client
  • Discovering the Retirement Benefits
  • Selecting the Right Vehicle to Divide Retirement Benefits
  • Determining the Marital Portion of a Pension
  • Tracing the Marital Portion of a 401(k)
  • Securing Income for Life with Survivorship
  • Determining Retirement Subsidies, Supplements and COLA
  • Unraveling Disability Pensions
  • Computing Pension Present Values
  • Avoiding Malpractice in Present Values
  • Dividing Social Security
  • Choosing Between QDRO and Offsetting Assets
  • Separate Interest v. Shared Payment QDROs
  • Reducing Assets for Taxes
  • Drafting the Separation Agreement
  • Drafting a "Proper" QDRO for Pensions and 401(k)s
  • Avoiding QDRO Malpractice Traps
  • Handling the Executive Divorce

Part II: Discussing a Settlement

  • Preparing Your Client for the Settlement Conference
  • Conducting the Settlement Conference

Part III: Drafting the Orders

  • Dealing With the Plan Administrator
  • Dividing Military Pensions
  • Dividing Civil Service Pensions
  • Dividing Railroad Pensions
  • Dividing State Government Plans
  • Drafting QDROs for Cash Balance Plans
  • Drafting QDROs to Collect Past-Due Child Support

Part IV: Litigating the Case

  • Understanding Actuarial Statistics
  • Litigating Present Values
  • Litigating the QDRO


Gary A. Shulman, an ERISA attorney with more than 30 years of experience in the benefits and actuarial fields, is the country’s leading authority on Qualified Domestic Relations Orders. Mr. Shulman earned his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from The Ohio State University and his Juris Doctorate from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Mr. Shulman is a frequent lecturer on QDROs for family law bar associations, plan administrator groups, and judicial colleges across the United States. As owner of Shulman & Co., LLC, located in Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. Shulman has drafted and administered QDROs for thousands of attorneys and plan administrators, including many Fortune 500 companies. His consulting and legal background make him uniquely qualified to explain QDRO issues from the perspectives of both lawyers who draft QDROs and plan sponsors who are required to administer them. You can learn more about Gary Shulman and his company by visiting


David Kelley has appeared as an expert witness on dividing pensions more than 1,300 times over the past 25 years. Mr. Kelley belongs to the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries, is a Certified Financial Planner and is co-owner of QDRO Consultants Co. located in Medina, Ohio. He was Co- Editor-in-Chief of ‘‘The QDRO Report’’ for more than two years and authored 28 articles in that time. He has also written numerous additional articles focusing on the problems of dividing pensions. He has lectured to over 100 legal groups in the last decade ranging from the Ohio Judicial College to the California Bar Association. He earned his B.A. from Manhattan College and his M.A. from the University of Connecticut. QDRO Consultants Co. also works with state government IV-D agencies in designing and implementing child-support QDRO programs. Mr. Kelley has a special interest in promoting Alternative Dispute Resolution after witnessing firsthand the ‘‘corrosive’’ effect that trials can have on individuals and families. You can learn more about Mr. Kelley and QDRO Consultants Co. at

Daniel Kelley is an attorney working in the field of pension benefits. Mr. Kelley earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Ohio University and his Juris Doctorate Degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Working as counsel for QDRO Consultants Co., Mr. Kelley has delivered numerous CLE lectures and published articles in reference journals including the Ohio Domestic Relations Journal and Sowald Morganstern Domestic Relations Law on subjects ranging from QDROs to present values. He has a special interest in the role of Social Security in dividing marital assets and awarding spousal support. For additional information about Mr. Kelley and QDRO Consultantsvisit