Bob Treat, president and pension and QDRO consultant for Hantz Consulting LLC and QDROExpress LLC in Woodhaven, handles one or two Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) pro bono cases each month for the State Bar of Michigan's Pro Bono Initiative.
A QDRO is a special court order that divides a retirement plan upon divorce or separation. So Treat meets these pro bono clients at one of the worst times in their lives.
"Even for free services, thank-yous are rarely forthcoming from pro bono divorcing parties because they are in pain and in a bad financial situation," Treat says. "So you have to have a heart for service, and to realize that they just don't have the emotional capacity to express their appreciation."
He focuses on the good changes his work makes in his clients' lives.
"I feel good when I think of how somebody's quality of life is improved because I prepared a document they couldn't afford," he says. "Many times the preparation of a QDRO has meant the person in need was able to buy groceries or get a prescription refilled."
The positive outcome is why Treat believes pro bono work is so important.
"I do believe pro bono work is important," he says. "Pro bono means 'for the good,' and it's not too hard to do something if you believe you're doing it for the good of the person you're helping.