Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO's}
These documents are Orders that are required by Retirement Plans before any division of benefits or segregation of accounts can be issued pursuant to the terms of a Judgment for Dissolution and the basis for the division of retirement benefits as set forth in the marital settlement agreement. All retirement plans, including public sector and private sector retirement plans require QDRO's to be issued by the court and directed to the plan for implementing the terms of the judgment with regard to dividing the community property portion of the benefits between the parties.
The Qualified Domestic Relations Order is a document and Order that is recognized by Retirement plan entities, that allows retirement plan benefits to be divided between litigants, without triggering any type of tax penalty associated with the division of the retirement plan, whether it is a Defined Contribution Plan or Defined Benefit Plan.
Qualified Domestic Relations Orders are based on the model language requirements of the retirement plan entity and the terms for the division are based on the provisions of the law that govern the division of retirement benefits regarding the community property share of the retirement benefits, and the process of establishing a separate account for the non-member spouse, or having benefits rolled over into a separate account, depending on the options available with the plan.
These orders are also required for the division of military retirement benefits, and the military has their own model language requirements and criteria, which are necessary in order for the Domestic Relations Order to be effective for purposes of dividing military retirement benefits fairly and accurately between the parties.