A guide to pensions and divorce

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Financial settlements occur for a number of reasons. You may have an issue with your pension regarding employment or you may have recently gone through a divorce and require a financial settlement agreement. We deal with a number of financial settlement cases and a substantial proportion of our business is dedicated to divorce law. We are experienced at dealing with divorces which require financial settlements to be arranged after the finalisation stage or in between the Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute.

We can offer fixed fee services in certain areas to help you deal with financial situations including pension settlements in relation to divorce. You are welcome to set up an initial free 30 minute telephone consultation at any time if you have questions about financial settlements or the topic of pensions. As already stated, pension issues may be related to employment, inheritance, or other situations that you would like us to handle. As such, our team of expert solicitors will help you make referrals as well as offering you further links for information.

Divorce and Pensions

Your pension rights are considered as part of your assets when financial settlement is attempted. The court will take any pension you have into account when you are looking to divorce or end a Civil Partnership. There are three ways the court can help you resolve your pension issues when you have an ex-partner or ex-spouse:

  • Pension Offsetting
  • Pension Earmarking
  • Pension Sharing

It must be noted that unless you have a prenuptial agreement which separates certain assets from your current marriage, all financial assets you have will be examined by the court and divided as fairly as possible under English law. If you were previously married, you may want to allocate some of your pension for children from your first marriage. Consequently, the court will take your individual situation into consideration before deciding upon the pension results.

Pension Offsetting

Pension offsetting is a balancing of rights as they relate to your pension and other income. Before this choice is used to arrange financial settlements involving a pension, the court will take into account the entire range of assets from both parties. If one spouse makes less or possesses less assets, the court can award a suitable portion of the pension to the spouse with fewer assets. For example, if one person gained the house then the other person may receive the entire pension to offset the value of the house.

Pension Earmarking

This type of pension resolution is an arrangement for one person’s pension; when the pension becomes available, to be split or paid to the other person. In England the payment is usually made in a lump sum; in which part or the entire pension can be given to the ex-spouse or ex-civil partner. At retirement the pension payment will be enacted, so the funds will not be available until the payment is due to be made. Death is another reason the pension might be paid out, in which case the designated portion is allocated to the ex-spouse or ex-partner.

Pension Sharing

This is a splitting of the pension during the divorce so that both individuals will have a separate pension in the future. Pension sharing is based on the transfer value of the pension and assets. This percentage can be higher or lower than the other person, depending on the situation and the divorce proceedings that are in existence at the time.

If you have any further questions with regards to Pensions, Financial Settlements and fixed fee rates,  our team of accomplished Solicitors can answer all of your questions and will work to resolve any issues you may have.

Call us for EXPERT advice on: 0161 761 8099 or email us at: [email protected]