In a divorce, or other domestic relations proceeding, a court may award a portion of a TRS participant's benefits to a spouse or former spouse. However, before TRS can make payment directly to a spouse or former spouse of the amount awarded, TRS must receive a certified copy of a domestic relations order (DRO) that TRS determines is a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). A DRO is an order entered by the court that directs TRS to make direct payment of a portion of the participant's TRS benefits to his or her spouse or former spouse. A QDRO must meet all requirements in Chapter 804 of the Texas Government Code and TRS rules to be accepted as a qualified order. If TRS determines that the order is qualified, TRS will administer the order as directed by the court when a benefit becomes payable under the plan.
If you are a participant who is divorced or in the process of a divorce, or other domestic relations proceeding, and the court divided your TRS benefit, before TRS can issue payment directly to your spouse or former spouse of the amount awarded, you will need to obtain a QDRO. Furthermore, if you are a spouse or former spouse of a participant and you have been awarded a portion of your spouse’s or former spouse's TRS benefit, you must obtain a QDRO before TRS can issue payment directly to you. TRS has prepared two model DROs that TRS finds are acceptable and administrable, one for Active Members and one for Retirees. The model DROs are available on the TRS website. For DROs entered by a court on January 1, 2015 or after, TRS requires the use of the TRS model DRO. No other DRO will be accepted by TRS.
Above, you will find a menu of items. Click on the links that interest you to learn more about QDROs.