Dont Disregard Pensions When Getting a Divorce


People going through a divorce often don't realise how important pension assets are. You may think that the pension is insignificant compared to the other property that you want to split, or even that you have no claim to it because it has been acquired by the other spouse.

Pensions are important when considering divorce

In fact, the pension can be equally as important as the value of your property.

Pension Assets Equally Important

Pensions administrators Equiniti have released that pensions are equally as important as property when getting a divorce.

John Pratley, our partner specialising in Family Law, agrees:

"In many of the divorce cases I have dealt with, the pension has been the most valuable asset of the marriage."

"Many spouses mistakenly believe that as the pension has been accrued by the other spouse, it is unlikely that they will be able to secure a share. This is certainly not the case and so long as the pension has been paid into during the marriage and even during cohabitation prior to the marriage, the spouse is able to make a claim."

Increased Pension Awareness

Equiniti also state that they are seeing increasing numbers of people getting a pension valuation because they're getting a divorce.

John, who is based in our Bristol office, notes how more people are coming to realise the importance of the pension in divorce proceedings;

"The new pension reforms implemented this year have raised a great amount of awareness of pensions and how they can now be used. Pension funds can now be withdrawn, rather than being forced into an annuity, and annuities can be sold for cash. The reforms introduced much greater flexibility, and much more choice as to how the pension fund can be taken."

Recent high profile divorce cases also increase awareness as to the importance of pensions in a divorce, and the options that people have. The Supreme Court case of Wyatt vs Vince held that ex's can come back many years down the line to claim money if no financial order was made at the time of divorce.

John adds; "I hope the case will encourage spouses to thoroughly think about their finances, and make sure that they seek proper legal advice at the time of divorce."

Getting Advice

Arranging finances as part of a divorce can be difficult to get your head around, and you may be unsure about whether it is being done properly or if you are getting a fair deal. Our family law team at Simpson Millar LLP have solicitors that specialise in divorce law that will make sure you get the best advice.

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