Module 4 (CQS IV) – Division of Military Retired Pay & Specialty Orders (Hard Copy)




Understanding the Division of Military Retired Pay & Specialty Orders in Divorce

Introduction to Military Retired Pay 

Simple Rules

– 10/10 Rule

– 1 Year Rule

– 90 Day Rule

– Maximum 50% Rule

– VA Waiver

– SBP Rules

– 20-Year Cliff Vesting



Historical Perspective

Full-Time Active vs. Reservist/National Guard Retired Pay

Basic Retired Pay Calculations for Military Divorce

A Good Year

Ready Reserve

Computing the Accrued Monthly Retired Pay

1. Reservist/National Guard

2. Full-Time Active Members

3. Full-Time Active w/Reservist Years

Dividing Military Retired Pay  



Relevant Background Information/Requirements

SBP & Former Spouse’s Rights

Disability Pay & VA Waiver

Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC)

Additional Benefits for a Former Spouse

Specifics on Dividing Retired Pay as Marital Property

Crafting the Military Order

Additional Provisions to be Included in the Order

 Valuing & Dividing Railroad Retirement

                        Valuing Railroad Benefits

Dividing Railroad Benefits

Tier I Benefits

Division of Tier II Benefits

Dividing Pension Plans Exempt from QDROs

Basic Understanding of Non-Qualified Pension Plans

Allocating the Former Spouse’s Share

A Better Approach

Crafting the QDRO (Like) Order

 Dividing Non-Qualified Defined Contribution Plans

Code Section 457 deferred Compensation Plans

Suggested Language for 457 Deferred Compensation Plans

Deferred Compensation Plans Not Subject to QDROs


 Dividing IRAs in Divorce

                        Introduction to Dividing IRAs in Divorce

IRA QDRO References to I.R.C. 408

Division of Land Trust

 State Retirement Systems

Types of Benefits & Benefit Options

Separation Benefits or Refund of Contributions


New York State & Local Retirement System

Florida Retirement System

Wisconsin Retirement System

Ohio Public Employees retirement System



Suggested Settlement Agreement Language

Missteps & Miscues and How to Avoid Them

Consulting on the Preparation of Settlement Agreements

References/Issues with Traditional Defined Benefit Plans

Common Municipal Pension References

Expert Testimony 

Expert Witness Testimony Based on Experience

Expert Witness Testimony Based on Education

Examples of Specific Questions

Issues Related to COLAs

Questions/Issues Related to Defined Contribution Plans

Questions/Issues Surrounding Federal Retirement Plans

Question Surrounding the Division of Military Retired Pay


The first end of module test fee for each module is included in the module fee. Subsequent retakes of the end of module exam is charged separately. The Final Certification Exam Fee, and any subsequent retake certification exams, is an additional charge. Modules and exams are subject to a 5.75% sales tax in addition to the fee itself.If the candidate does not pass the first end of module exam with a score of 70% or better, the Module Exam will have to be retaken with a Retake Fee of $20

To be become a Certified QDRO Specialist the candidate must pass the final exam with a score of 70% or better. The cost to take the final exam is less expensive if the final exam is taken online. If your company or industry requires the exam to be proctored AACQP utilizes the services of SMT/ISO Quality Testing, Inc. (IQT) with locations around the U.S. CQS Online Final Certification Exam (non-proctored) $242, Proctored Final Certification Exam $290. Retake fee for online exam is $75 and for Proctored retake exam fee is $140. Certification is not granted based on the purchase of only the final exam.

Annual Membership to AACQP: To join the American Association of Certified QDRO Professionals, it is not necessary to have completed the certification process. Members that have completed the course pay a lower annual fee ($125) than affiliated members ($225), however, both are entitled to the same benefits, which includes updates/newsletters, resources, and periodic consultation on specific issues.



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