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Common questions about Qualified Domestic Relations Orders

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is frequently required when going through a divorce. They are generally used by the court to resolve three main issues: issues regarding the living maintenance for both people after they have divorced, to maintain the lifestyle of a child when their parents are not together, and to divide assets in the divorce process.

What information does a QDRO need to contain?

A QDRO should include, as defined by the 1986 Internal Revenue Code, the last know email address of the participant as well as one's name, the amount that should be paid and the way in which it was calculated, and the mailing address of another payee as an alternative. There may have to be additional information included depending on the circumstance.

How is a QDRO created and what does the process include?

It is a good idea to choose an advisor to help you with the process. You should review all of the information that is contained in the Summary Plan Description and bring up any concerns that you have. Once you begin an order, it is a good idea to use Fidelity's ODRO Center. This will take you through a set of questions that will help you to prepare your order based on your circumstances and requirements.

Preparing a QDRO can be a difficult and complex process if you are not fully prepared. It is a good idea to do thorough research and apply it to your specific circumstances so that you will successfully process a QDRO.

Source: Fidelity, "QDRO Frequently Asked Questions," accessed Dec. 01, 2017

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