A domestic relations order is a judgment, decree, order or approval of a property settlement issued by a state court which relates to the provision of child support, alimony payments, or marital property rights with respect to a spouse (present or former), child, or dependent (alternate payee) of a plan participant and is made pursuant to a state domestic relations law, including a community property law. A property settlement agreement which has not been approved by a court is not a domestic relations order. The domestic relations order may assign rights to an alternate payee in the plan benefits of a plan participant.
The plan requires that the plan administrator approve the domestic relations order before it can become effective. To be an Approved Domestic Relations Order (ADRO), the domestic relations order must meet certain requirements.
The following sections provide guidance on development; submission and implementation of an ADRO by ORP participants and the plan administrator.
The Commonwealth has provided this information as a guide to participants and alternate payees in the development of an order for submission to the plan administrator. However, the information provided and the availability of a sample order should not be construed (in any way) as legal advice or an opinion made by either the Commonwealth or the plan administrator.
As with all legal matters, participants and alternate payees should seek the advice of qualified counsel.