Why we sometimes ask for records AFTER date of separation for 401(k) Plans.


Here is an analogy of a ‘valuation date issue’ with a 401k QDRO and why sometimes I need to ask for records AFTER date of separation:

In 2010 Albert had $100 at Bank of America
In 2013 Albert separated from Betty.
In 2015 Albert transferred $105 to Wells Fargo (100% of the Bank of America Account balance)
In 2020 Albert’s divorce completed and Albert is ordered to split his account 50-50 with Betty as of the date of separation in 2013.
Bank of America can not split as of 2013, because Bank of America has no money.
Wells Fargo can not split as of 2013, because Wells Fargo has no idea how much money Albert had in 2013.
Albert must give Wells Fargo directions as of 2015.
Maybe-Albert and Betty’s community interest was invested and earned $5 gains between 2010 and 2015 and the $5 increase should be split 50-50 because half of the gains are from “Albert’s half” of the money and the other half of the gains are from “Betty’s half” of the money. ($52.50 each)
Or maybe-the $100 was invested in cash and in 2014, Albert contributed $5 of his own separate property. $100 community property is rightly split 50-50 and $5 is separate property that should not be split. Albert should receive $55 and Betty should receive $50.
Albert should produce records between 2010 and 2015. Those records will answer these questions for us and let us know how much is appropriate to split.