For IPF:
Phone: 1-888-880-8222
Fax: 202-347-7339

For IHF:
Phone: 1-888-880-8222
Fax: 202-383-3905

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Washington, DC 20004

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Qualified Domestic Relations Orders

If a participant (or retiree) is divorced, the courts often consider the participant's pension benefit an appropriate issue for the couple's divorce decree.

A domestic relations order (DRO) is a court order which specifies how marital assets and child support responsibilities are to be divided among the divorcing parties. The Fund will pay benefits awarded only pursuant to a qualified domestic relations order, a "QDRO," directly to the former spouse, child, or other individual specified in the decree. A QDRO is a domestic relations order which has been submitted for review and has been found by the funds administrator to satisfy the Government Code provisions and the QDRO requirements.

In order to expedite the review process and limit costs to the participants, the Fund has adopted a model QDRO. The QDRO simply contains acceptable language. The QDRO does not mandate how you and your former spouse should divide your pension benefits and you are not obligated to use the model QDRO; those decisions are between you and your legal counsel. Please bear in mind that you or your spouse should submit your domestic relations order for review in plenty of time to allow for ruling on its status as a QDRO, prior to the entry of the divorce decree. If you fail to allow enough time for review, you may incur additional court costs, even after your decree is final.

If you have determined that you may be getting a divorce, you should contact the Fund Office. We can provide you with a copy of the model QDRO.