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What happens to Pensions in a divorce?

View profile for Lucinda McWatt
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What happens to Pensions once you’re divorced is something that comes up regularly with our clients and our specialist divorce lawyers can help to manage this situation.

At Pearson Solicitors we have a holistic approach to the concept of divorce and advising on financial matters.  We have in house pension experts on hand, as well as property lawyers to help with house moves and private client solicitors to change your Will should this also be relevant.

“Having these additional legal disciplines all under one roof really does make a difference for our clients but pensions are the real biggie for some clients,” said family lawyer and divorce solicitor, Lucinda McWatt.

“Divorced women, particularly those who divorced after retirement, need to check that they are benefiting from the state pension contributions of their ex-husband,” said Lucinda. 

“I would always advise a client to look thoroughly at their spouses private and state pensions contributions.  Divorcees who may have thought they were saving money in a DIY online route may have split without thoroughly sorting their pensions and so are missing out on money owed,” adds Lucinda.

In addition a recent campaign by pension experts and a major newspaper has discovered that many divorced people are being underpaid their state pension and the Department of Work and Pensions is investigating. 

Previously some women reaching state pension age before April 2016, could claim more than the basic state pension depending on their husband's National Insurance contributions. This scheme was automised in 2008 however some were not given the automatic uplift, whilst others did not apply pre-March 2008 for their pensions to be increased.

When divorce proceedings are issued, and even after they have concluded, the Court has powers to make the following Orders:

  • Maintenance between spouses
  • Orders for the sale or transfer of property
  • Orders for lump sum payments
  • Orders in respect of other capital assets such as shares and endowment policies
  • Orders in respect of pensions

“Our team specialises in Complex Finance Remedies so right from the start we can assess a clients financial needs and make sure a fair financial settlement is reached,” said Lucinda.

“The right to claim financial provision against your spouse does not end with divorce either, as with most things only the right legal advice will help you make a clean break and not expose yourself to future claims or not get the pension advice you need and deserve.”

For advice on Pensions, Divorce and all Financial aspects of your split call 0161 785 3500 or email enquiries@pearsonlegal.co.uk for advice.

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.