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Adverse Party

I want QDRO-law to jointly represent me and my former spouse

But I'm paying part or all of your fee. Doesn't that mean that you are my lawyer?

Because you represent my former spouse, are you writing the QDRO to my disadvantage?

Do I need to hire an attorney of my own to review the QDRO you prepare?

I want QDRO-law to jointly represent me and my former spouse

Joint representation is not possible. QDRO-law is a law firm. A QDRO divides property between spouses incident to a divorce. There is a conflict of interest between you and your former spouse with respect to this property division. A QDRO-law attorney cannot ethically represent both parties any more than a divorce attorney can ethically represent both parties in a divorce. The QDRO process is part of the divorce process. QDRO-law has an attorney-client relationship only with its client. QDRO-law does not have an attorney-client relationship with the former spouse of its client.

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But I'm paying part or all of your fee. Doesn't that mean that you are my lawyer?

No. It doesn't. The source of the fee paid to QDRO-law does not determine which spouse is QDRO-law's client.

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Because you represent my former spouse, are you writing the QDRO to my disadvantage?

That is a good question to ask and a very difficult question to answer. QDRO-law's role is to implement the division of the pension plan benefit or retirement account in a manner that is consistent with the divorce decree. But because divorce decrees typically do not set out all of the details that a QDRO must contain, QDRO-law makes choices when it prepares the QDRO. Those choices may result in you receiving less or more money. Many times, the true financial impact of those choices can only be determined after unknowable future events become known, such as future investment performance, your death, or the death of your former spouse. The choices QDRO-law makes in preparing the QDRO are set out in the QDRO. Anyone else who reviews the QDRO on your behalf will be able to see the choices QDRO-law has made.

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Do I need to hire an attorney of my own to review the QDRO you prepare?

That decision is entirely up to you. QDRO-law is more than willing to talk to you about the QDRO and explain it to you. But because QDRO-law does not represent you, QDRO-law cannot tell you whether or not you should sign the QDRO. In short, QDRO-law cannot give you legal advice. If it would make you feel more comfortable to have an attorney review the QDRO on your behalf, then by all means you should do so.

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