Nolo.com states that a QDRO (qualified domestic relations order) is an order involving pension or retirement benefits during a divorce. The order requires that the person responsible for a pension must give a specified amount of benefits to the nonemployee spouse once the employed spouse begins receiving benefits.
Nolo.com also states that this action is necessary in order to meet standards regarding retirement pay. Wikipedia states that there are also some other requirements when dealing with a QDRO. A QDRO must follow state-specified standards, the U.S. tax code and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). A QDRO needs to contain certain information about the participants, including name, address, social security number, name of the plan, identification number, amount payable to alternate payee and duration for which the alternate payee is given benefits. The value of each participant's benefits is affected by whether or not that participant was involved in the plan before the marriage.