Often, when separating, everyone’s focus falls on the family home and how this is going to be divided. However, this can overlook what can in some cases actually be the biggest asset – a spouse’s pension. Pensions are complex and sometimes assessing the true value of a pension or how it should be correctly divided can be difficult. But it is essential that this doesn’t put you off doing so.
Whilst splitting a pension may not be your primary concern at the time of the divorce as there is no immediate impact to your financial position, it could hugely affect your future finances and therefore it is not something to be ignored. This is particularly the case after the recent changes in pension laws which for example allow parties to draw down on their pensions at age 55. This can make pensions even more valuable and a failure to properly deal with them as a part of your divorce could result in future financial hardship.
There are many options for dividing pensions on divorce and here at Paul Robinson LLP we have the experience and expertise to guide you through each and every possibility. Sometimes it will be appropriate to equally divide the capital value of the pension. In other circumstances, particularly if you and your spouse are nearing retirement, it may be better to divide the pension to achieve equality of income from the pension on retirement. And in other circumstances it may be more appropriate to give one of you more of the other assets instead of dividing a pension. Either way it is more important that you fully understand all of the options available to ensure you do not suffer unnecessarily when you reach retirement age.
Pension administrators will require a court order to divide a pension and as such it essential that you obtain comprehensive legal advice and assistance in this regard. Therefore, please do not hesitate to contact us for an initial fixed fee appointment to understand everything you need to know. Please call our offices today on (01702) 338338 to speak with a member of our specialist family team. We are able to accommodate appointments in our Westcliff, Billericay, Benfleet and Stratford offices.