Pension and retirement benefits

Can a QDRO valuation date be set to the date the QDRO is qualified (or any other date you choose) if both parties are in agreement or is the languge below mandatory rather then permissive?

G.S.50‑20.1.(d) The award shall be determined using the proportion of time the marriage existed (up to the date of separation of the parties), simultaneously with the employment which earned the vested and nonvested pension, retirement, or deferred compensation benefit, to the total amount of time of employment. The award shall be based on the vested and nonvested accrued benefit, as provided by the plan or fund, calculated as of the date of separation, and shall not include contributions, years of service, or compensation which may accrue after the date of separation. The award shall include gains and losses on the prorated portion of the benefit vested at the date of separation.