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Hi all,

I am reviewing a Domestic Relations Order (DRO) that is being submitted to the Acting Supreme Court Justice in my county pursuant to my Divorce Settlement. I believe once he signs there will be another document to review that includes all that needs to be in a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) before it is sent to the Plan Administrator (PA) to be determined VALID. Currently, the DRO is missing a bit of what a QDRO MUST HAVE. It is not for a Pension Plan (I opted out of his pension plan because it was very small, he was not even vested at the time of divorce, and it would cost more to have a very complicated QDRO written up for it than I stood to receive at his retirement age). It is for a 401k.

I am reviewing ALL.

I have written up questions for my lawyer, but I have a few for this investment community.

First, I original asked that my half of the 401k be rolled over to an Individual IRA with Vanguard. I have yet to know if this is an option with the PA, but it is what is in the Divorce Settlement and Divorce Judgement.

I am now reading that there are pros and cons for rolling it and pros and cons for just leaving it in my ex's plan (being a separate account in my name again if PA allows that).

I have time to change my original request.

If I rollover - the QDRO does not follow me to my Personal IRA - so I loose the option of being able to withdrawal monies (one time) with no tax penalty. That is afforded one time due to divorce. However, I am not tied in anyway to my ex. anymore and I can choose my investments, rather than those that are available through his company. I was wondering if I could still borrow against it if a dire need presented itself?

I read about leaving it in his plan (in a separate account in my name) and it was suggested that this would be a good option if I wanted to withdrawal any without the tax penalty before retirement age AND would be wise if there was a sizable Net Unrealized Appreciation. I do not believe much of the 401k is Company Stock - if I remember correctly. At least, I warned him not to invest much of it in a single stock. Finally, currently my tax bracket is low, but later may not be. Also, I have to do one or the other and cannot take a lump sum and invest it in a separate brokerage account. I do believe it must be a retirement account.

So, my long awaited question is - which would be better? I hope I am understanding these options correctly enough to ask the right questions.

I appreciated any input at all.
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