I just got a call from a client whose spouse has talked to “some lawyer” who assured her (the client’s wife) that she could get a portion of his policeman’s retirement plan by using a QDRO. Let’s get this straight: if you’re discussing divorce in Alabama and you or your spouse has an RSA retirement plan, the kind you get when you’re a teacher, a policeman, or a state employee, that retirement plan will not respond to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). You can draw it up, and you can get the judge to sign it, and you can send it to Montgomery with a nice cover letter on 60# bond, and David Bronner will just laugh at it.
There is simply no way to transfer an RSA retirement plan from one spouse to another in a divorce. So what do you do? Here are three options, all less satisfactory for most divorcing couples: