About the Author

Diana Shepherd, CDFA®

Diana Shepherd has over 30 years of experience as a marketing, branding, SEO, copywriting, editing, and publishing expert. As Content Director for Family Lawyer Magazine, Divorce Magazine, and Divorce Marketing Group, she oversees all corporate content development and frequently creates SEO-friendly videos, podcasts, and copy for family law and financial firms. The Co-Founder of Divorce Magazine and Divorce Marketing Group, Diana is an award-winning editor, published author, and a nationally recognized expert on divorce, remarriage, finance, and stepfamily issues. She has written hundreds of articles geared towards both family law professionals and divorcing people, and she has both performed and taught on-page SEO for 20+ years. Diana spent eight years as the Marketing Director for the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts® (IDFA®), and she has been a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® since 2006. While at IDFA, she wrote, designed, and published The IDFA Marketing Guide, and she also created seminars for CDFA professionals to present to family lawyers (approved for CLE), as well as to separated and divorcing individuals. She has represented both DMG and IDFA at industry conferences and events across North America, and she has given marketing as well as divorce financial seminars at many of those conferences.


  1. 1
    Avatar photo

    Roxane Stancil

    I am an individual not an attorney. I am concerned because my lawyer very wrongly is adamant that I can not keep a portion of the QDRO funds without paying a penalty. I will prepare my own tax return (I am an accountant) so that part is not at issue. However, I am concerned that if he is so negligent in understanding tax laws, the QDRO may not be prepared right. Do I need to worry about paying a penalty because of his negligence?

    1. 1.1
      Avatar photo

      Tim Voit

      In response to your inquiry you should review, or have your attorney review, I.R.C. Section 72(t)(2)(c) which exempts distributions from the 10% early withdrawal tax penalty from qualified plans, pursuant to a divorce and pursuant to a QDRO. The exemption does not extend to IRAs, however, unless it is for a first-time home purchase wit an exemption amount up to $10,000. There are also other approaches to taking early distributions without incurring the 10% tax penalty, e.g. substantial and equal payments, age 55 rule, etc., but to answer your question, the 10% is waived if taken directly from a qualified plan pursuant to a QDRO.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

©2022 Divorce Marketing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Web Accessibility | Reproduction in whole or in part without their written permission is prohibited.

Skip to content