WE ARE AVAILABLE to meet clients and prospective clients by telephone and video conferencing, using either Zoom or Facetime. We are also available in person, whatever works best for you! We will continue to assist you in any way we can. Please do not hesitate to call our office and let us know how we can help.

Fort Myers Family Law Attorneys
Contact Us

What is the definition of a qualified domestic relations order?

On Behalf of | May 27, 2015 | Property Division |

A qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO, is a domestic order from the court that allows for the existence of an alternate payee, or person receiving a payment, who has the right to receive payments from a retirement plan after certain information is shared and requirements are met.

To take this confusing issue further, a domestic order is a judgment from the court that is made under Florida state law and relates to child support payments, alimony and marital property rights on behalf of a child or spouse.

A judge must actually decree that the property division is allowed to go through as both the spouses have agreed. In other words, just because you two agree on a settlement doesn’t make it legal. The court must issue an order making it legal.

In Florida, the laws can be very disconcerting and a bit hard to understand and follow. As you can see from the definitions given, there is more to property division than meets the eye. Calling in an attorney to assist in wading through the depths of these laws may be a wise move.

You do not have to agree to present your ideas to the court before the court date. It isn’t even important that the retirement plan in question be brought to the court. Unless your retirement plan is a QDRO, it isn’t up for question in this instance.

It may be a question later, though, and having someone in your corner looking out for your best interests is a boon to your case and your confidence.

A domestic order can be a QDRO if it recognizes the existence of an alternate payee, or another person’s right to receive all or part of the benefits in that retirement plan. For a QDRO, only a spouse, a former spouse, a child or other dependents can be made an alternate payee.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, “Frequently Asked Questions Qualified Domestic Relations Orders,” accessed May. 27, 2015


  • The Florida Bar | Board Certified | Marital & Family Law
  • Super Lawyers
Photo of Professionals at Thompson Family Law
FindLaw Network