7th November 2019
Recent research by Age UK has discovered that 70% of couples going through a divorce are not discussing pensions when arranging their finances.
A pension is usually one of the largest capital assets and often can be unbalanced in the relationship, where, for example one spouse has stayed home to bring up the children allowing their partner to build up a sizeable pension fund.
Pensions can be complex and difficult to understand – which is perhaps why they are often overlooked or people fail to recognise their value. Couples that are still young and working when going through a divorce may be more focused on division of property, other capital and children arrangements to realise the hidden value of their pension savings.
Appointing a specialist Divorce Lawyer who is experienced in un-muddling finances upon divorce is vital in ensuing that you are not left rueing the financial split and that your future years are considered, regardless of how far away you are from retirement.
There are various ways of approaching pensions when a couple are separating and the best option will depend on the personal circumstances of the individuals, the pension value/options and their overall financial position.
Pension Sharing is the most frequently used option. This allows one party to secure an agreed percentage of their partner’s pension and to put these funds into their own name. This puts the individual in full control.
Offsetting the Pension is another popular option used when splitting finances. This involves ‘offsetting’ the pension against other assets in the marriage, for example a larger property share or other savings. A pitfall with this is that pension values will increase overtime, so this will need some careful consideration as pension assets may be worth more.
Pension Attachment Orders (previously known as ‘earmarking’) are used very infrequently as it does have many disadvantages. This is where the court decides on an amount which is payable to one spouse from the pension income. Although fair and reasonable the income would stop upon death or re-marriage.
Couples may feel that if they receive a share of their partner’s pension, then they will be financially tied to their ex-spouse in the future, but this is not the case. You can still enjoy financial freedom whilst obtaining a fair share of capital from the marriage.
For further advice on pension sharing or division of assets upon divorce then please speak to our Family Law Team who can help guide you through this complex and difficult time. Call us today on 01256 844888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to a professional expert on finances and divorce.
Other articles you may be interested in reading:
Run Down of the Latest Divorce Statistics
Looking for the Best Divorce Lawyer?
5 Initial Steps to Getting a Divorce
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.
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