How do you file a QUADRO if your ex-husband dies before he can sign?

The final divorce decree states that a pension is mine. The pension company agrees it is mine. I just need a quadro. My ex-husband unexpectedly passed away before he could sign the quadro. He and I have a son of legal age, however, there is no estate because my ex-husband had no assets at the time of his passing. What can I do to get a quadro that the pension company needs in order for me to receive the pension?

Asked on March 23, 2011 under Family Law, California


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A Q.D.R.O. is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (pronounced QUADRO) and is available when you go through the marriage dissolution (divorce) process to obtain your community share of the other spouse's pension. If the final divorce decree awards you the portion of pension and the pension company agrees, the obstacle of your spouse's death is really not an obstacle. According to some case law, it appears your rights were solidified from the divorce and that could be considered the QUADRO. If this occurred after your spouse's death and only raised for the first time in probate court, there might be an issue. Here, it should be resolved without problem. Contact the U.S. Department of Labor and inquire if they have any information they can share with you about your particular situation. You may need to go back to court to verify what you received but it appears your divorce decree should be sufficient.

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