QDRO in a Retirement and Divorce Case

A Qualified Domestic Relation Order or QDRO is part of the division of marital property in a South Carolina Divorce. A QDRO is a court order that is made pursuant to Federal and State Laws that recognize the existence of the divorced spouse's right to receive all or a portion of the benefits payable with respect to the ex spouse's benefits under their pension or retirement plan. Here are a few of the terms used in a qualified domestic relations order.

Participant - The person that the plan belongs to is the participant.

Alternate Payee - Usually the former spouse (but could also be a child or other dependent) of the participant that is entitled to receive all or a portion of proceeds under the retirement plan. For purposes of the QDRO provisions, an alternate payee cannot be anyone other than a spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent of a participant.

The requirement for a Qualified Domestic Relations Order was created by the Retirement Equity Act of 1984 as an amendment to the anti-alienation provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), that protected retirement plan assets from creditors.

South Carolina divorce law determines the division of marital property in a divorce. If you are awarded certain sums of money or a percentage of a retirement or pension plan and you want to collect, you will normally need a QDRO or qualified domestic relations order. Your divorce decree is not enough for you to be able to collect your portion of the retirement plan awarded to you in your South Carolina divorce.

If you are awarded a portion of your ex spouse's retirement, you need to be sure that your attorney prepares the Qualified Domestic Relations Order and has it submitted to the court and then to the financial institution. To be effective, the QDRO must be signed by the judge and also approved by the retirement plan administrator.


A Qualified Domestic Relations Order cannot be used to divide a military pension. For information on military pensions see

Military Pension in a Divorce


QDRO Case Law

Discussion on Two Methods to Divide a Pension by QDRO

Do you have a question ON ANY SUBJECT? Just Answer has people online to answer your question on CAR REPAIRS, MEDICAL, PETS ALMOST ANYTHING RIGHT NOW!!! A Deposit is Recommended.

Ask a Lawyer Online
24 Lawyers are Online Now. A Question is Answered Every 12 Seconds!
Ask a Lawyer >



Custom Search

This may be considered AN ADVERTISEMENT or Advertising Material under the Rules of Professional Conduct governing South Carolina lawyers. Under no circumstance will South Carolina Divorce be held liable for any loss or damage caused by a visitor's reliance on information obtained through this web site or any other communication from us. It is the responsibility of each individual visitor to evaluate the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any information, opinion, advice or other content. This site is intended to provide you only with general information. However, there is no guarantee that this information is comprehensive or accurate. South Carolina Divorce does NOT provide legal, financial, or tax advice. Please consult a professional in these areas. Only an attorney licensed in your state can provide you with legal advice. Links and Ads to third party sites are here for the convenience of site visitors only. The content of any third party site which you visit via a link from this site is solely the responsibility of the provider of that web site. Copyright 2010 Solidgold P.O. Box 14757, Greenville, S.C.