For Members

How Do I…

Get Help if I am Divorcing?


In the event of a divorce, TMRS encourages you to contact us as soon as possible in the process.

It is important to understand that Texas is a community property state (see 1). The retirement benefit that you earn during your city employment is considered community property if you go through a divorce.

If you are divorcing, TMRS strongly recommends that you:

  • Review the Divorce and Retirement publication posted on the TMRS Website
  • Have your attorney draft a special document to handle the portion of your benefit to be paid to your former spouse, called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) (see 2).
  • If you are to retain the entire benefit, a QDRO is not necessary, but there must be specific language awarding the benefits to you in the divorce decree.
  • Send a certified copy of the QDRO to TMRS if the retirement benefit is to be divided. TMRS requires a certified copy (see 3) of a qualified order before any benefit can be paid or deposits withdrawn.
  • Contact the TMRS Support Services group for specialized assistance to handle divorce issues. Support Services may be contacted at:
1
In a community property state, all property acquired during a marriage is owned 50-50 by the two spouses, including retirement funds. Most property acquired during the marriage (except for gifts or inheritances) is owned jointly by both spouses and is divided upon divorce, annulment, or death. The law is justified by the idea that such joint ownership recognizes the theoretically equal contributions of both spouses to the creation and operation of the family unit.
2
A QDRO is usually a separate document from the divorce decree but in some cases may be contained within the decree.
3
What is a Certified Copy?
A certified copy is an official document certified by the District Clerk. It is a copy of the decree or QDRO with the original stamp and seal plus the signature of the District Clerk of the county where the divorce was granted.

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This website is an informal presentation of the TMRS Act and related law. If any specific questions of fact or law should arise, the statutes will govern. TMRS, MyTMRS, and the TMRS logo are registered trademarks of the Texas Municipal Retirement System.