Domestic Relations Order

Overview

Domestic Relations Order (DRO)

A Domestic Relations Order (DRO) is a Court Order that directs NYCERS to divide a pension between a Participant and their former spouse. The former spouse, known as the Alternate Payee, must be recognized by the DRO as having a right to receive all, or a portion of, the benefits payable under the pension plan. Please note, a Judgment of Divorce and Stipulation of Settlement are not sufficient without a DRO.

You must submit a draft Domestic Relations Order to NYCERS if you are a member or pensioner whose pension is subject to equitable distribution based on a divorce, or if you are an Alternate Payee.

Please submit the draft DRO to NYCERS for approval before submitting it to the Court for the Judge’s signature to ensure that you will not have to go back to court to correct errors. Draft DROs can be submitted via email to DRO@nycers.org.

Sample DRO

A sample DRO with provisions acceptable to NYCERS can be accessed here.  Not all of the provisions in the sample will necessarily apply to you. NYCERS recommends that you seek legal advice from your own attorney regarding the drafting of your DRO.

Practice Guide for Attorneys

Here you can find a Practice Guide which explains NYCERS’ general requirements.  The guide is not inclusive of all situations, so please contact NYCERS at DRO@nycers.org with specific questions relating to your client’s circumstances. Note: NYCERS requires a signed and notarized authorization from your client in order to provide any client information.

Consent to New York Jurisdiction

Parties with a DRO entered out-of-state are still required to domesticate the Order. In lieu of New York State registration, a Consent to New York Jurisdiction and Release can be executed, and is available for download here.