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Fairly splitting pensions in divorce

Fairly splitting pensions in divorce

Often pensions are the family’s second largest asset, after the family home.

There is widespread lack of awareness around pensions in divorce. It could be leading to unintended discrimination, proportionately higher against women reaching retirement age now.

Research highlights that divorcing women could be deprived of thousands of pounds in pension money.

Samantha Lee, head of divorce and family law at Swain & Co Solicitors comments,

“When settling finances in divorce, it is vital that you seek advice. Often the focus is on the family home and decisions can be made from emotions. But, for the spouse who may have taken career breaks, taken part time work and/or acting as carer, future income must be considered. That is why we prompt our clients to talk about pensions during the divorce process.”

Women reaching retirement now seem to be retiring on pots that are a 5th of the size of men’s. Younger generation are likely to be more equal due to decreasing gender pay gaps and shared caring responsibilities.

Where pensions are of similar size for both parties, it can make pension splitting less of an issue during divorce.

Samantha adds,

“A major issue on fairly splitting pensions in divorce is the valuing of pensions. Only when you know the value can you make an informed decision on what you may be losing, keeping or gaining.”

When it comes to the physical splitting of the pension, there are a few options as we posted about talked about. But Samantha advises why Pension Attachment Orders may be the least favourable option in this post.

As a firm, we just want to stress how important it is to have discussions on pensions during divorce. It makes for a fair process and can prevent issues further in the future.

For free initial advice, speak to Samantha and her team on 02392 483322 or fill in our enquiry form and we will contact you at your convenience.


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