Here at Curran Bowles Family Law we specialise in all aspects of finances relating to marriage breakdown or divorce, including the issue of pension division.

There are various ways in which the division of the value of a pension may occur, and how much is shared will depend on all the circumstances of the case.  The length of the marriage and the proportion of the pension which has been accrued during the relationship is usually an important factor. 

If one or both spouses has a pension or a number of pensions which are of a significant value, a pensions expert may be needed to provide an analysis of the value of the schemes and the impact of sharing same.  We can advise if this will be necessary in your case once we have seen the valuations of the pension schemes involved. 

One way of dealing with a pension is to ‘off set’ one party’s interest in the other party’s pension using the value of other assets.  This allows the pension to remain in tact with the spouse who earned it in exchange for a reduced interest in other matrimonial assets, such as the matrimonial home or other savings and investments, for example. 

Another common option is applying a Pension Sharing Order, which splits the pension scheme on the basis of an agreed or specified percentage.  Such an Order requires to be made by the Court. 

A less common option is an ‘attachment order’ which specifies that a pension scheme member’s former spouse is entitled to an agreed or specified percentage of the pension from the point of retirement until they die. These have fallen out of favour given the limited security that such an order gives to the former spouse and the fact that it results in an ongoing financial link being maintained between the parties, as opposed to a ‘clean break’.

If both parties are willing, issues pertaining to the division of pensions and all other related financial matters can be resolved by agreement.  The right legal, and other expert advice will help you ascertain what issues need to be considered in your own circumstances to reach a fair division of the assets including any pensions.

Get in touch today if you need advice about a pension or other financial matters arising out of a marriage breakdown on or telephone 02897 512722 to discuss your situation in confidence. 

Clare Curran
Director & Head of Family Law


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