TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT (“FEE AGREEMENT”)
This statement sets forth the terms of engagement offered to you by QDRO Pros. Unless modified in writing by mutual agreement, these terms will control all services rendered by QDRO Pros until termination of this Fee Agreement. Therefore, review this statement carefully before signing and contact QDRO Pros promptly if you have any questions. Please retain a copy of this Fee Agreement for your records. We also urge you to have an attorney of your choice review this agreement and inform you of your obligations.
SCOPE OF WORK
You have retained QDRO Pros to prepare a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, (“QDRO”). For purposes of this engagement, QDRO shall mean any Order meant to divide retirement plan assets, including, but not limited to Qualified Plans, Non-Qualified Plans, IRAs, Government Plans and Military Orders. Preparing a QDRO means we request information about both parties, including copies of certain court documents, we inform both parties of any issues that we believe need further clarification or resolution, we prepare a draft QDRO for both parties and the Plan Administrator to review and comment. Whenever possible, we obtain a pre-approval letter from the Plan. If the Plan refuses to provide pre-approval, this last step is omitted. After any changes requested by both parties and/or the Plan are completed, or if no changes are requested, we prepare the final QDRO and send it to the initiating party with instructions on how to file the QDRO with the court and send it to the plan administrator for implementation (“Services”).
QDRO Pros will notify you that the Plan Administrator has approved the QDRO or that your Plan Administrator will not provide pre-approval. It is your responsibility, and not QDRO Pros’ responsibility, to obtain signatures, file it with the court and send a certified copy to the Plan Administrator, and take any further necessary action. These steps are hereafter described as “Services,” and will be completed for the Fixed Fee described in Schedule A. No other steps or work will be done within the Fixed Fee. We do not represent you with any other aspect of your marital dissolution or family law or custody matters.
Any and all changes to the QDRO requested by the parties after receipt of approval by the Plan Administrator will incur fees at our then applicable hourly rate, in addition to the Fixed Fee, as set forth in Schedule A. Our current hourly rate is $350 per hour. If the Plan does not provide pre-approval, then changes requested later than thirty (30) days after we send the final to the parties will incur fees at our then applicable hourly rate. All other services described on Schedule A under “Optional Services/Fees” likewise will be charged at $350/hour. You agree that if you request hourly rate services, we have no obligation to render such services before payment of the hourly rate in advance, based upon a good faith time estimate, if we request such payment.
QDRO Pros will not be performing any work outside of this scope without a separate additional written agreement.
Any expressions on our part concerning the outcome of THIS MATTER ARE NOT GUARANTEES. Such expressions are necessarily limited by
- knowledge of the facts which are based upon the information presented by you and
- the state of the law at the time they are expressed. We provide no guarantees of any outcome.
As described above, we charge a Fixed Fee for the Services in accordance with Schedule A, incorporated by reference herein and attached hereto. A surcharge may apply if required and necessary information is not supplied within a reasonable time and manner, requiring additional follow-up by QDRO Pros. This Fixed Fee is nonrefundable.
HOW FEES WILL BE SET
We charge a fixed fee for the Services in accordance with Schedule A-Fee schedule, incorporated by reference herein and attached hereto. A surcharge may apply if required and necessary information is not supplied within a reasonable time and manner, requiring additional follow-up by QDRO Pros.
Non-routine out of pocket expenses may be charged by us to you as stated in the paragraph below. All additional work will be charged at $350/hour, as also set forth in Schedule A.
OUT OF POCKET EXPENSES
QDRO Pros, Inc. fees include routine 1st class mailing costs, copy charges and telephone charges. However, we reserve the right to charge you for any out of pocket costs arising in connection with the Services which are other than routine. These may include messenger fees, overnight delivery fees, overseas telephone calls, computerized research, charges made by government agencies or unusual clerical charges. Whenever such costs are incurred, they will be carefully itemized and billed. You agree that these costs must be paid by you prior to our obligation to complete the Services.
BEGINNING OF WORK
You agree that our obligation to render the Services does not begin until we receive the Fixed Fee and written approval and acceptance of the terms of this Fee Agreement from both parties. You agree that we have no obligation to render the Services until we receive all necessary information requested by us.
WAIVER OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST
You understand that you are jointly engaging the services of QDRO Pros. In order for QDRO Pros to provide this service, each of you must agree to such joint engagement. This is necessary because there is a possibility that a conflict could occur. For example, you could take differing positions on issues pertaining to the QDRO. By way of your signature on this Fee Agreement, you waive all conflicts of interest.
Please note that should an actual conflict of interest arise, in terms of a dispute between you or otherwise, we are precluded from taking sides. Our role, in the event of disagreement between you, has to be limited to discussing the benefits and detriments of alternative courses of action, rather than advocating either side. We cannot favor one client over another, and thus we can follow only the mutual instructions that we receive from you. You will have to resolve the particular conflict or dispute between yourselves or with the advice of your individual attorneys. In the event this dispute is irreconcilable and there is not a single agreed-upon course of action that allows us to perform our scope of work, we may withdraw from this engagement, unless you both agree in writing that we can represent one of you.
Next, we may not withhold from one of you any information provided to us by the other, or by third parties, while we are providing this service. In addition, any communications that we receive from either of you in connection with this engagement would not be deemed privileged or confidential in any dispute between the two of you. Please note California Evidence Code section 962, which provides:
“Where two or more clients have retained or consulted a lawyer upon a matter of common interest, none of the, nor the successor in interest of any of them, may claim a privilege under this article as to a communication made in the course of that relationship when such communication is offered in a civil proceeding between one of such clients (or his successor in interest) and another of such clients (or his successor in interest).”
Of course, all of our conversations will be privileged and protected from disclosure to third-parties.
You may terminate this Agreement at any time, with or without cause, by written notification to QDRO Pros. Your termination of the Services will not affect your responsibility for payment for the Services rendered and out of pocket costs incurred before termination. Again, the Fixed Fee is non-refundable.
QDRO Pros reserves the right to decline or discontinue the Services for such things as non-payment of fees or costs, conduct which renders it unreasonably difficult to carry out the engagement effectively, failure to provide information within a reasonable time or other such circumstances.
This Fee Agreement represents the entire agreement for all periods during which QDRO Pros renders the Services. Any representations, whether orally or in writing, which is not stated in this Fee Agreement, will have no effect. If any term of this Fee Agreement is invalid, the remaining terms shall continue in full force and effect.
EXECUTION OF AGREEMENT
By signing this Fee Agreement, or by indicating agreement with the Fee Agreement on-line, you understand that you have entered into an enforceable contract and accept the terms, conditions and obligations of this Fee Agreement. You agree that you have freely and voluntarily entered into this Fee Agreement with full understanding of the legal ramifications contained in this Agreement.
QUALIFIED DOMESTIC RELATIONS ORDERS
PUBLIC PENSION PLAN ORDERS CONSULTING
SCHEDULE A – FEE SCHEDULE
(Effective January 1, 2016)
QDROS & PUBLIC PENSION PLAN ORDERS (Including Military)
Preparation of QDRO (“Fixed Fee”)
Approval by plan administrator (where applicable)
and revisions required to obtain Plan Administrator’s
approval (One plan per order)
PREPARATION, FILING AND SERVING JOINDER
FILING OF SIGNED QDRO WITH COURT AND PLAN
REVIEW OF ORDERS PREPARED BY OTHERS
Two hour minimum/per QDRO
CONSULTING and MEDIATION
Two hour minimum
Any additional services will be billed at the standard consulting rate. A surcharge will apply if information necessary to QDRO Pros is not supplied in a reasonable time and manner, requiring additional follow-up by QDRO Pros. Fees subject to change without notice. Fixed Fee and Minimum fee must be paid in advance.