Pension Sharing

Pensions have a significant role to play in divorce settlements. The pension provision of one or both spouses may even be the largest capital asset of the marriage.

The courts have long had the power to take pensions into account in dividing up the matrimonial assets. Very often the husband might have a substantial pension provision and the wife might have none or a very limited pension provision because, for example, she has given up her job in order to look after the children. Such a wife is very likely to wish to be "compensated" for her lack of pension entitlement.

While the spouses remain married, the wife might legitimately expect that when her husband retires she will benefit from his pension and, in the event that anything happens to him, she might expect to receive a surviving spouse's pension. When they divorce these benefits are lost and the wife might be very concerned that she has no provision in her own right and that she has little chance of being able to rectify that within any working life that may be left to her.

Nevertheless, it is important to realise that there is no "automatic" entitlement to pension sharing. People often think that just because they have been married they are entitled to half of everything - including the pension. That is not the case. Divorce pension entitlement is more subtle than that. Offsetting a pension against other assets is still a very common way of dealing with pension entitlement on divorce and the couple themselves often prefer it for various reasons.

Every case is different and Ursula Bagnall will be able to advise you as to the significance of pensions in your particular case and whether actuarial advice should be obtained as to the fairest way to divide the pension(s).

-Sensitive Approach
-Forward thinking
-Years of experience
-Value for money