What Is a QDRO?

Qualified Domestic Relations Orders

A QDRO is a qualified domestic relations order. This is an order that creates and recognizes the existence of an alternate payee's right to receive the all or a portion of benefits that were payable to the other participant.

Normally, QDROs affect retirement plans or other continuous benefit payments. Essentially, a domestic relationships order is a judgment that is made pursuant to a state domestic relations law. This usually relates to the provision of child support, marital property rights, or alimony payments.

How to Obtain a QDRO

In most cases, a state authority such as a court is required to issue a judgment order or decree before it can become a domestic relations order. There is not a requirement that both parties in a marital proceeding must endorse or approve a QDRO. Instead, the court can be sovereign over these orders regardless of whether or not spouses are in agreement about them.

A domestic relations order is only considered a QDRO if it creates or recognizes the existence of an alternate payee's rights to receive all or part of the participant's benefits. QDROs must contain the name and last known mailing aggress of the participant and each alternate payee. They must also contain the names and addresses of the participant and any alternate payees and the name of the plan to which the order applies.

A QDRO will only be honored if there is a dollar amount or percentage of benefit that is designated to be paid to the payee, and if the number of payments or the time period to which the order applies.

Do you need help organizing a QDRO? Talk to an attorney today for more information. A Los Angeles family lawyer at Claery & Hammond, LLP can help you to work through your case!