Financial & Legal News

Why Women could lose out in DIY Divorce

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No fault divorce, diy divorce – both might seem appealing, potentially cheaper and possibly quicker, but don’t be deceived because when it comes to finances and pensions recent research indicates that it’s women who are likely to lose out.

Pensions and Divorce

The recent research from the University of Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing and the Pensions Policy Institute, states that divorced men aged 55 to 64 have pension savings on average five times more than divorced women in the same age bracket.

And it’s a significant difference of up to £80,000 in some cases - so it would seem that what is perceived as the easy option is not always the best one for many women as divorced non-cohabiting men have average pension savings of around £100,000, in comparison to their female counterparts who have only £19,000.

“Online and no-fault divorce have certainly made things easier but there are pitfalls and there is a reason professional and trained divorce solicitors are still preferable than going it alone for many people, but especially as we see in this case women,” said divorce and family lawyer, Emma Kendall.

“Over and above the court dates which have to be met and making sure the paper work is filed properly. There is the overlooked financial orders and pension splitting arrangements to be sorted so that one half of the couple is not financially penalised when a marriage ends,” she added.

It has been possible for a number of years for separating couples to use internet services to submit their own legal paperwork for a divorce if the financial settlement is straightforward.  However, in the experience of family and divorce solicitors finances often get overlooked.

“Quite often people get obsessed by the family home as the major marital asset to be divided on divorce whilst for many couples it is actually pensions that count for more,” said Emma Kendall.

Pension Sharing Orders Fall

As if to prove a point we see that applications for pension sharing orders fell by 35 percent in the four years to 2021 according to Ministry of Justice figures, whilst during the same period there has been a 1.6 percent increase in divorces.

“Pension sharing orders will enable the spouse with a lower value of pension savings to be allocated a proportion of their ex-partner’s pension pot.  Often it is women who have left work to have children or taken part time jobs that lose out financially. But a good divorce solicitor will sort out the pensions and make sure everything is equal, the last thing my clients want when they divorce is to face a ruinous financial future,” said Emma

How can we help

For advice on divorce and finances contact the divorce and family lawyers at Pearson Solicitors on 0161 785 3500 or family@pearsonlegal.co.uk

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

Written by Emma Kendall

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