Divorce/Domestic Relations Orders
No matter the situation, divorce can be a difficult event in your life. The legal process can be complicated so we want to make things as simple as possible for you.
If you are going through a divorce, and you need to divide your PERA account in the process, we are here to help. Although we cannot provide legal advice, we can help you get started. However, we do recommend consulting with an attorney to help with this process.
To divide your PERA account, you will need to complete and provide to PERA a valid Domestic Relations Order (DRO) within very specific timeframes.PERA Benefits and Divorce booklet
In addition to reading and understanding the PERA Benefits and Divorce booklet, the following two forms are required for a DRO:
1. Domestic Relations Order for a PERA Benefit Plan: This form must be used and signed by the court, without changes or alterations, for the division of a PERA benefit plan and/or for modification of a prior DRO.Domestic Relations Order for a PERA Benefit Plan
2. Agreement for Domestic Relations Order: This form must be used and signed by the parties, without changes or alterations, for an Agreement for a DRO and/or modification of a prior DRO.Agreement for Domestic Relations Order
You will also have to submit a copy of your Divorce Decree to PERA once it has been entered by the court.
PERA encourages the parties to submit a draft DRO to PERA for review and pre-approval prior to submitting the DRO for final approval by the Court.
Requirements for a valid DRO:
- The parties’ DRO Agreement must be submitted to PERA no later than 90 days after the Divorce Decree is final.
- The Agreement and Order must be entered by the Court upon or before entry of the Divorce Decree or within 90 days after entry of the Decree.
- Certified copies of the Agreement and Order, along with a copy of the Divorce Decree, must be received by PERA within 90 days after entry of the Agreement and Order.
- PERA must receive both the Agreement and Order at least 30 days before PERA will make its first payment pursuant to the DRO. (Applies to the PERA Defined Benefit plans only. Defined Contribution plans do not have the 30-day waiting period.)
For questions relating to a DRO, please call PERA's Legal Department at 1-800-759-7372 ext. 6271 or email at LegalDRO@copera.org.