QDRO Virginia, PLC

P.O. Box 2404
Chesterfield, Virginia 23832
Telephone: 804-302-6698
Fax: 804-414-6112
Email: lashaner@qdrovirginia.com

For Attorneys

     The services provided by QDRO Virginia, PLC to attorneys and individual clients include the following:

     Expert Witness:  Unless evidence is presented to trial courts that delineates the terms and provisions of a specific retirement plan, as well as the applicable state and federal statutory and case law, trial courts are not in a position to award the parties the appropriate benefits under their retirement plans.  Instead, trial courts will award “50% of the marital share” of retirement plans which, according to Virginia case law, does not include all of the benefits that are or are not available under a particular retirement plan.  The use of Ms. Shaner as an expert witness provides trial courts with the specific benefits of retirement plans so that an appropriate award can be made in the equitable distribution of the parties’ qualified and non-qualified retirement plans.
     Research and Analysis of Both Parties’ Retirement Plans:  The ideal situation for attorneys using QDRO Virginia, PLC is to contact Ms. Shaner at the beginning of a divorce action.  Ms. Shaner will provide in a letter opinion all of the salient points of the parties’ retirement plans, as well as an analysis of the financial implications for the division of the retirement plans.

     Obtaining the Necessary Retirement Plan Documents:  In order to be able to research and analyze the parties’ retirement plans, the parties either voluntarily, or by the use of a subpoena duces tecum, must produce certain statements regarding their retirement plans.  Many divorce clients are unwilling to produce these documents.  Ms. Shaner can assist attorneys with obtaining these documents in an efficient and cost effective manner.

     Consultation with Attorney and/or Client:  Ms. Shaner is available to consult in person with the attorney and/or client to explain the division of the parties’ retirement plans.

     Settlement Conferences:  Ms. Shaner is available to attend settlement conferences to assist with a neutral analysis of the settlement provisions regarding the division of the parties’ retirement plan assets.

     Review of Orders Provided by Other Attorneys:
  In divorce cases, property settlement agreements can provide that the order be prepared by opposing counsel, Ms. Shaner is available to review the orders prepared by opposing attorneys to ensure that the terms and provisions of the order complies with the terms and provisions of the property settlement agreement and/or final decree of divorce.  Ms. Shaner is available to review these orders to ensure that orders comply with the terms and provisions of property settlement agreements or trial court decisions.

     Property Settlement Agreement Language:  Ms. Shaner can draft the appropriate property settlement agreement language that is specifically tailored to accomplish the parties’ goals in the division of their retirement plans.

     Preparation of the Retirement Order:  Because of Ms. Shaner’s vast knowledge regarding particular retirement plans, she can prepare the necessary order(s) to effectuate the terms and provisions of a property settlement agreement or decision by a trial court to divide the parties’ interest in their retirement plans in a timely and efficient manner.

     Litigation Support:  Ms. Shaner can provide attorneys with the appropriate use of discovery and depositions in the division of the parties’ retirement plans.

    Litigation:  Ms. Shaner is an experienced litigator who can handle all aspects of litigation related to the terms and    provisions of retirement plan orders.

     Qualified Medical Child Support Order:  Ms. Shaner has the ability to prepare Qualified Medical Child Support Order for employment-based group health plans to extend health care coverage to the children of a parent-employee who is divorced, separated, or never married when ordered to do so by state authorities.

     Research:  Ms. Shaner has accumulated a significant base of research on the issue of retirement plans orders.  If attorneys need to have research performed for a trial and/or appeal, this service is available.

     Administrative Support:  Ms. Shaner will handle all of the administrative support necessary to have the retirement plan order endorsed by all counsel of record; have the retirement plan order entered by the court; send the entered retirement plan order to the applicable plan administrator for approval; and follow the case until the retirement plan order has been approved and administrator.  Ms. Shaner provides a monthly status report to attorneys regarding the progress of the approval of their client’s retirement plan order.

     Retirement Plans that Are Not Approved by the Plan Administrator:
  It is not uncommon for retirement plan orders entered by the court to be rejected by the plan administrator of the retirement plan.  These situations usually involve technical violations in the retirement plan order.  Ms. Shaner is experienced in resolving the issues involving a solution to the rejected retirement order.

Additional Services Provided by QDRO Virginia, PLC:

     Stock Options:  Many clients, as part of their employee compensation, have stock options issued by their employer.    This type of asset can be very difficult to handle in equitable distribution.  Ms. Shaner can provide assistance to attorneys in the division of stock options.

     Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOP):  ESOPs are divisible in equitable distribution by the entry of an order similar to a qualified domestic relations order. 

     Non-Qualified Retirement Plans:  Many highly paid executives have non-qualified retirement plans which technically are not divisible in divorce.  Ms. Shaner can provide an analysis of applicable non-qualified retirement plans in order to ensure that these plans are handled correctly in a divorce action.

     Health Insurance:  In the past, divorcing clients typically use COBRA coverage for 36 months following divorce for their health insurance needs.  However, the enactment of the Affordable Care Act is going to make a difference in awards of spousal support.  Ms. Shaner can analyze the costs associated with the provision of COBRA coverage and coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

     Marital Assets Held in Trust:  If marital assets are held in trusts established for estate planning purposes prior to the divorce, special attention must be given to these assets.  Ms. Shaner can advise attorneys of the methods available to handle these assets.