It could be a problem if it isn’t. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to have cases where years have gone by and the QDROs have not been entered. It’s one of those things that can fall through the cracks once you’re divorced. You think everything has been done, but the division of these retirement accounts is not actually effectuated and people don’t realize this for years and years to come. This can create some major problems with the estate, and if someone does pass away prior to the entry of the QDRO, the retirement accounts don’t always listen or adhere to what a divorce decree says. It’s not a necessity that the QDRO be entered at the same time as the judgment, but to make sure that it’s not forgotten or overlooked, it’s good to try and do that.
This doesn’t mean that if in someone’s particular case that hasn’t been done that it can’t be done. The QDROs can be entered after the fact, and hopefully, this is prior to anyone’s passing away or circumstances which will complicate the issue. But they can be entered after the fact and should be entered as soon as it comes to anyone’s attention that it has not done so.
Arin Fife is a family lawyer at Boyle Feinberg Sharma in Illinois.