QUADRO Too Late?

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Latest post 06-11-2008 6:41 PM by mbahealth. 3 replies.
  • 06-04-2008 10:19 AM

    Question [=?] QUADRO Too Late?

    I live in Illinois. I was divorced in 1996 and awarded a portion of my X's pension. I received a copy of the divorce decree with a copy of the QUADRO. It indicated that I should notify them of any address changes so when I moved recently, I called the company to advise them of my address change. They told me that no QUADRO had ever been filed with them for me. I faxed them a copy of my divorce papers and they began the process for me. In the meantime, I phoned my attorney to advise him of this glitch. I found out he retired but since he was in with a group of attorneys, he still has a secretary handling his business. I told her the situation and she seemed as if she was not the least bit interested in helping me with the process.

    Since then, I received a notice that I will begin to receive payments. Here are my 2 questions:
    1) Had the QUADRO been filed correctly at the time of my divorce by my attorney, I would have been able to choose to receive benefits for my lifetime but because it wasn't filed prior to his retirement I can only receive a monthly payment for the length of HIS life, not mine. Since he is quite a bit older than I am, I will probably lose out on a good amount of money. Do I have any recourse through my attorney? (i.e. small claims court or filing an appeal with the company regarding their decision about the QUADRO)
    2) Since he retired over a year ago, I lost a year's worth of benefits and the company is not going back to repay me. Do I have any recourse here either?

    I hate to sound money hungry but in the divorce, I walked away with our camping equipment, 2 lawn chairs and a computer for our kids. (this was by my choice...I just wanted a divorce) I figured since I was going to get part of his retirement, I would not touch his 401 K or ask for the house, etc. So, I figure I would like to get what is legally mine at this time. What do you think?
  • 06-04-2008 1:35 PM In reply to

    re: QUADRO Too Late?

    "1) Had the QUADRO been filed correctly at the time of my divorce by my attorney, I would have been able to choose to receive benefits for my lifetime but because it wasn't filed prior to his retirement I can only receive a monthly payment for the length of HIS life, not mine."

    If this is what the plan administrator told you, you may be assuming he-she is correct. May not actually be so. In any event, it may be that this issue was one that you should have looked into *at the time of the divorce*.

    You would first want to consult with a different family law attorney as to whether the pension plan documents reflect what you are being told. We can't know from here whether an attorney could help you essentially force the plan to change its mind.

    If there's nothing to be done here, you'd ultimately want to check with a legal malpractice attorney to find out whether the IL statute regarding legal malpractice claims has a discovery element to it such that the statute of limitations doesn't run until you discover the malpractice.

    This wouldn't be a small claims court matter.

    "Since he retired over a year ago, I lost a year's worth of benefits and the company is not going back to repay me."

    You're the one who should have back when you were divorced educated yourself as to what the pension plan entailed and when you'd be able to get benefits.

    "I hate to sound money hungry but in the divorce, I walked away with our camping equipment, 2 lawn chairs and a computer for our kids. (this was by my choice...I just wanted a divorce)...."

    If it was your choice, pointing to it now doesn't help.

    "I figured since I was going to get part of his retirement, I would not touch his 401 K or ask for the house, etc."

    This doesn't make a lot of sense. Either you decided before settling that all you wanted was the retirement pension or you didn't (inexplicably, it seems you don't with this remark recognize that the 401k was part of his "retirement" as well). In any event, a bad mistake on your part. You were entitled to your share of *all* marital property. It's not like he could refuse to grant you a divorce if you refused to settle.

    This won't be solved on a message board. You need to seek local (separate) family law counsel.
  • 06-05-2008 11:43 AM In reply to

    re: QUADRO Too Late?

    I agree.

    Your options are limited to paying an attorney to sort this out for you.

    Depending on the terms of the decree and the terms of the QDRO you could be entitled to retroactive benefits.

    Unfortunately, the election for benefits to only be paid for his lifetime was his choice and those benefits are locked in actuarily.

    Whether he was even required to elect a contingency for your lifetime would have had to be written into the divorce decree to be enforceable.

    If it wasn't in the decree you would not have been able to force that election.

    If it was in the decree and your ex didn't comply you can take him back to divorce court and see if a judge will order him to cough up an additional amount of cash.

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  • 06-11-2008 6:41 PM In reply to

    re: QUADRO Too Late?

    I got a letter from his company indicating that since the QUADRO wasn't filed with them until after he retired, my only option was to receive benefits during his lifetime. They said if my attorney had filed it at the time of the divorce, I would have had 45 days after he retired to choose if I wanted it for my lifetime or his.

    Since this was my first time of dealing with a QUADRO, I went by what my divorce decree said. It said I had to notify the company if I moved. My call to them to alert them to my new address was what started all of this. They didn't know who I was until then.

    Nothing in the decree said "you better call and make sure this is all done correctly"...I assumed that everything was done fine because my divorce decree said so. The funny thing is that a few years after my divorce, I called his company to find out if I needed to do anything when he retired. They acted quite irritated that I would call before he was actually ready to retire. They told me..."you can't get anything until he retires...call back then". Since I have no contact with my ex, I have no way of knowing when he planned to retire.

    This whole thing just points out to me that there is no such thing as a nice divorce. I tried to be a decent ex-wife and not take the house and everything...here is where I landed. If I ever remarry...I will remember this lesson.

    Thanks for responding to my original request. I really appreciate the input.
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