Eighteen months and counting. In June 2007, San Francisco 49’er legend Jerry Rice’s wife Jacqueline filed for divorce from the superstar. Here we are, over a year and a half later, no divorce yet. But a settlement may yet be on the horizon.
Married for 20 years, the couple continues to try to hammer out a divorce settlement in San Mateo County, California. When we last checked in, their marital home was still on the market and they had exchanged financial documents. Not sure if the house has been sold but we don’t see it in local real estate listings.
Jacqueline Rice replaced her original divorce attorney Lindy Barocchi with Philip Silvestri, back in August. Two status conferences were rescheduled in late summer and early fall. Then, in January, the attorneys submitted a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to the judge for signature. The case is currently set for a status conference in April.
QDRO’s are legal orders, signed by a family law judge, which direct the administrators of retirement plans to re-title or divide retirement assets in conjunction with a divorce. When a QDRO is appropriately used, the distribution out of the original retirement account is accomplished without penalty or tax. Generally, QDRO are issued only at the conclusion of the divorce proceedings after the parties have agreed to property settlement terms or a judge has distributed retirement assets in a dissolution judgment.
On occasion, however, QDRO’s are used prior to the finalization of a divorce. In these situations, the money is usually tapped for payment of attorneys’ fees or other needs of the other spouse. Without knowing the Rices’ financial situation, it is difficult to speculate the reason for this early distribution of funds. It may suggest, though, that they are closing in on a settlement – if they were both comfortable with allowing these funds to be transferred to Jacqueline prior to finalization of the split.