Do you have to be divorced before a judge will sign off on these orders for the other party to get their share of the money?
No. You can file an action for equitable distribution before the year and a day requirement for filing for divorce.
Equitable distribution is done and all the consent orders are fixing to be sent over to the judge. So the judge will not make you be divorced before signing off on the qdros
Correct. The judge can sign the orders, and the divorce decree can be entered later.