What the Research Shows
Although pensions can often be one of, if not the biggest, asset in divorce, the figures detailed in the report suggest that Pension Sharing Orders feature in only 12% of divorces.
The report suggests that this is in part due to women preferring the offsetting route, which should be treated with caution, to keep assets such as the family home. But there is little doubt that it’s also down to a lack of understanding of the available options and how they work.
Most people don’t actually get any specialist advice when they divorce, choosing a short term decision about costs over researching things fully. Yet pensions are one area in particular where it can be extremely important to understand all your options and what they mean for you, to make sure a settlement is fair and caters for everyone’s needs well into the future. And although a Court shouldn’t really approve any Order that doesn’t do this, it isn’t always picked up, especially if you don’t have an experienced Family Solicitor assisting you.
Although offsetting can be appropriate in some cases, it leads to a lack of financial stability later in life in many other cases.
Understanding what is fair in Divorce
It is important that anyone in the process of negotiating a divorce settlement understands that not all assets are equal, and they have different values, both financially and practically.
A financial settlement needs to ensure both of you can cater for your needs and those of any children, not just in the short term but also well into the future.
Considering your pension entitlement in detail will usually form a crucial part of that process.