By: Colin Anderson, Attorney, Yolo County DCSS
The Legal Practices Committee met at the Sacramento Department of Child Support Services April 6–7. One of the many topics discussed was the concept of whether an LCSA can collect assigned arrears with a QDRO. The topic of QDROs got me thinking about the untimely passing of Doug Harrison on December 2, 2016. Doug was the managing attorney in the Fresno County Department of Child Support Services and served as a member of LPC for many years. Doug was also the guru of the handling of QDROs in child support offices and he offered both formal training and individual mentorship to many of us. Doug’s template for establishing a QDRO is still being used throughout the state. His Ex-parte application for Issuance of Qualified Domestic Relations Order for Child Support still sits in my personal computer memory bank, ready to spring when I get wind of a non-custodial party with a 401k. Many a time over the past couple of years I called Doug for advice, like the time my alternative payee on a QDRO turned into an adult in between my submitting the draft QDRO to the plan and the Judge signing the order. Because of Doug’s advice, my LCSA bought the QDRO Handbook by Gary Shulman (Doug called it the QDRO Bible). It still sits on my shelf in its dog-eared state from being pulled down and re-read when I have a QDRO to prepare. Doug had a big influence on me when it came to QDROs. We, as an LCSA, became more aware of its potential as an enforcement tool and Doug’s template gave an easy way to prepare the documents. If you read his obituary, his work in child support and QDROs was a very small part of his lifetime accomplishments. However, to us in the Child Support enforcement business it was huge. So the next time you file a QDRO think of Doug and the tremendous legacy he left in the enforcement of child support throughout the state. Doug: Your template is ready to go and I have the QDRO Bible. I am ready to take on any plan administrator. To me that is Doug’s Legacy.