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Cadena v. Fries

Cadena v. Fries, 2015 MT 90 (March 24, 2015) (Wheat, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court properly valued Fries’ pension plan in the QDRO; and (2) whether Cadena is entitled to attorneys’ fees on appeal.

Short Answer: (1) Yes, the time rule approach; and (2) yes.


Facts: In their settlement agreement of dissolution in 2000, Cadena and Fries agreed that Fries’ pension would be equally divided between them as of the date of the dissolution. Cadena filed a QDRO in November 2013. The pension had not fully vested or begun paying. Fries objected to Cadena’s QDRO and submitted his own.

Procedural Posture & Holding: The district court issued a QDRO identical to Cadena’s. Fries appeals, and the Supreme Court affirms.…