Flash Point: Court Should have Reevaluated Retirement Account when Entering QDRO

In a second appeal, the husband challenged the trial court’s finding after remand that would cause him to bear the majority of a retirement account’s loss when entering a QDRO.  In its original judgment for dissolution of marriage in 2007, the trial court evenly divided the parties’ retirement assets with one of the Husband’s plans to be divided via a QDRO.  Wife was to receive $152,522 and Husband $156,901.  In 2008, Wife petitioned the court to enter a QDRO, but at that time of hearing in 2009, the value of the account had plummeted to $179,830.  The trial court ruled that wife was entitled to $152,522 of the $179,830 and the Appellate Court reversed.  The Appellate Court distinguished the case of In re Marriage of Carrier, 332 Ill.App.3d 654, 773 N.E.2d 657 (2002) where the parties agreed that Wife would receive a certain lump sum from the husband’s IRA.  However, in this case, the parties did not have an agreement that divided their assets and it would have been unfair to saddle the husband with all of the losses incurred in the account during the pendency of the case.  In re the Marriage of Schinelli 2011 WL 166716.

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