A Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO (pronounced "quad-row"), is a special document for family law cases. A QDRO is a court order which allocates a portion of a retirement plan to a spouse, former spouse, child or other dependent of a participant in the plan. QDROs are issued by state authorities (usually trial courts), but they are defined and controlled by ERISA, which is federal law governing retirement plans.
The administrator of the retirement plan is the person who determines whether an order meets the definition and criteria of a Qualified Domestic Relations Orders. The federal government takes the position that neither a state court nor the Department of Labor may determine whether an order is a QDRO, as that is the sole responsibility of the plan administrator. It is important that QDROs be carefully drafted to both fulfill the intent of the property and support terms of the family law case and to pass the inspection and approval of the reviewing plan administrator.
Our attorneys have training for drafting QDROs and an internal library with reference books for complex issues. Once you obtain the final terms for property or support which will impact a retirement plan, contact us to write your Qualified Domestic Relations Orders.