Can I have the plan write a check directly to me for the amount that I have been awarded?

Usually, not immediately. There are three options available when drafting a QDRO against a defined contribution plan. One option is to have the Plan Administrator establish a separate account within the Plan in the name of the Alternate Payee. The amounts awarded are deposited into this account and the Alternate Payee is given the same options as the participant has as a member of the plan with regard to investment choices, designation of beneficiary(ies), etc.

A second option is to provide, within the body of the QDRO, the name and other pertinent information relative to a tax qualified account (i.e. IRA, 401(k)) which is eligible to house the funds by way of a direct rollover. The plan will then transfer the money directly to this account.

The third option is to have the Plan issue a check (CASH) directly to the Alternate Payee for the sum awarded in the QDRO. This check will be issued after any mandatory waiting period required by the Plan and after the appropriate tax and distribution forms have been completed by the Alternate Payee and returned to the Plan Administrator.