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Pennsylvania Family Law Updates, Events & Useful Tips Surrounding Family Law Issues

Clever QDRO’s and “Sham” Divorces Give Pilots Access to Retirement Funds

Posted in Equitable Distribution

Mark Hess, a partner in our Los Angeles office and an attorney who specializes in employee benefits, wrote an article on Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO’s) and an interesting 5th Circuit case, Brown v. Continental Airlines, Inc.  In  the Brown case, Continental Airline pilots and their spouses used QDRO’s and what amounted to sham divorces to avoid retirement plan rules and receive their retirement funds without taking the usual tax hits.

QDRO’s can be complicated and very technical; for the layperson, they can be overwhelming, but the Brown case shows not only a great example of legal creativity, but the facts as conveyed in Mark’s article also help demonstrate how a QDRO operates in a divorce, its utility, and their purpose.