Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nebraska Court of Appeals admonishes trial judges to better supervise QDRO preparation after they rule in divorce cases. Court of Appeals adds judgment interest of over $27000 to wife's judgment for almost $183000 from husband's 401k plan that was worth over $600000 when the husband took almost two years to file an acceptable QDRO. Fry v. Fry, A-09-011, 18 Neb. App. 75 "Ultimate responsibility for assuring that a proper decree is entered, and for entry of a QDRO if the court determines that the situation so requires, rests upon the trial judge. While the judge may call upon the assistance of counsel, the decree and the QDRO are orders of a court and not mere agreements of the parties. we encourage trial courts to implement procedures to ensure that their responsibility to enter QDRO’s is fulfilled at the same time as the decree is entered, bearing in mind that in practice, the drafting of a QDRO may require approval by the retirement plan administrator, which counsel can secure prior to submitting the QDRO to the court. Even though more than 2 years passed following entry of an unappealed decree, we conclude that the district court had jurisdiction to enter the QDRO in accordance with the terms of the decree, because a QDRO is merely an enforcement device. Based upon Kullbom v. Kullbom, 215 Neb. 148, 337 N.W.2d 731 (1983), we conclude that the court did not err in awarding judgment interest on Janet’s share of the profit-sharing plan accruing from the date of the divorce decree."

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