Qualified Domestic Relation Order (QDRO)

A “qualified domestic relation order” (QDRO) is a domestic relations order that splits a retirement plan or pension plan and acknowledges that there is joint ownership in all or part of the plan due to marriage. 

QRDO creates or recognizes the existence of an alternate payee’s right to receive, or assigns to an alternate payee the right to receive, all or portion of the benefits payable with respect to a participant under the retirement plan.

QDRO is made pursuant to the domestic relations order under a judgment, decree, or order that is made pursuant to state laws. A state authority, generally a court, must actually issue a judgement, order, or decree or otherwise formally approve a property settlement agreement before it can be a domestic relations order under ERISA.