What is a QDRO?

QDRO is short for Qualified Domestic Relations Order. This is a court-order is able to divide a retirement plan or pension between two divorcees that were living off of the income of a retirement. QDROs originated with the Retirement Equity Act of 1984. Essentially, a QDRO is a legal means by which to divide retirement pensions. The non-employee spouse in the marriage is given a portion of the retirement benefits as an alternate payee. In some cases, this is the simplest solution to dividing retirement benefits.

ODROs are only effective for retirement benefit plans that are sponsored by the private sector. Those that are not sponsored by the private sector will have to be divided another way. These would include the U.S. Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees Retirement System. Military pensions and local and state government plans are also plans that would be unaffected by a QDRO order. Instead, the family court will probably have to use a specific court order to ensure that the QDRO is divided. IRAs are also not affected by a QDRO, but they can be divided and transferred into separate accounts easily.

Retirement accounts and the division of these accounts is most significant in gray divorces. These are divorces of retired couples who are often living off of one pension plan. Individuals who are splitting a pension plan at the time of divorce should make sure to arrange the finances in a way that all finances can be transferred to the other party in the event of one party's passing. QDROs can be complicated, so it always to get an attorney on your side if you want assistance in your case. Don't hesitate to hire a San Fernando divorce lawyer to help clarify any confusion that you have at present.