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Employee Benefits Research: QDROs


The division of pension and retirement plan benefits in divorce involves a variety of legal considerations. Qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs) are court orders that provide for a division of pension, profit sharing or other retirement plan benefits between an employee-plan participant and the participant's former spouse. The following sources provide specific guidance regarding QDROs. Some sources under the General Sources tab also include chapters or sections regarding division of pension and retirement benefits in divorce.

Treatises and Handbooks

Dividing Pensions in Divorce, Gary A. Shulman and David I. Kelley (Aspen, 2nd ed. 1999-) 10th floor - KF 532.7 .S578 1999

Qualified Domestic Relations Order Answer Book, Mark W. Dundee (Wolters Kluwer, 4th ed. 2007) 10th floor - KF 532.7 .M47 2007

Provides quick answers to more than 800 QDRO-related questions.

Qualified Domestic Relations Order Handbook, Gary A. Shulman (3rd ed. 2006-), available via Loislaw.

Prepared for attorneys and pension plan administrators, this loose-leaf details the elements of the QDRO, the standards that are required by ERISA, and step-by-step procedures to qualify the order as a QDRO. Included are sample QDROs, letters, forms, and other documentation used in the process of qualification.

Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, Michael B. Snyder (1993-date), available via Westlaw.

This treatise examines the elements needed to build qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs). The text explains rules and regulations, analyses the laws and agencies that govern QDROs, reviews tax consequences, explains which federal tax laws govern when state law conflicts, and shows how to use IRAs and golden parachutes to avoid QDRO rules.