How are pensions split in divorce?

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Struggling to understand the divorce pension split in the UK? To help you find answers to the most commonly asked questions surrounding the division of assets, we’ve asked our talented team of solicitors for their expert legal advice.

Below, we explain how pensions are valued for divorce and how they are often split between a divorcing couple in the UK.

Regardless of whether you’re only contemplating divorce or have already sought legal support for dividing your assets, we can help.

How is pension valued for divorce?

Put simply, a pension is a significant financial asset.

It is valued and split in a similar way to real estate properties, investments, personal property, and business ownerships. There are various ways that pension value can be shared between two parties, including pension offsetting, a pension attachment order (also known as earmarking), and pension sharing.

Each of these pension-splitting schemes have their individual advantages and disadvantages, so it’s well worth discussing your options with a qualified divorce solicitor to ensure you’re receiving a fair settlement.

For example, if you want a clean break from your ex-spouse, pension offsetting may be preferable to the attachment alternative.

How are pensions split in a divorce in the UK?

If you find yourself frequently Googling ‘how are pensions split in a divorce’ and coming across the same answer, that’s because pensions in the UK are most commonly divided 50/50 between both parties. This is the starting point for many financial divorce settlements.

However, every divorce case is different and if it is deemed unfair to divide it equally, the case can be made to give one party a higher share. Alternatively, if you and your partner both have pensions of similar value, they could be ignored altogether.

In some cases, however, a more substantial 70/30 split may be considered appropriate when the length of the marriage, income or earning potential, and the contributions made by each spouse have been taken into account.

Ultimately, the idea isn’t to simply divide any pensions using a set mathematical percentage between the two parties, but to ensure both individuals are left in a similar financial situation.

As a result, you may want to consider the sum of any other joint assets and how they might impact the division of any pensions.

Can my partner take half my pension if we divorce UK?

Because 50/50 is the most common starting point when it comes to pension division following divorce in the UK, you may be wondering whether your partner can force this financial settlement upon you.

While there’s no automatic right to receive half of your ex-partner’s pension, this is the typical arrangement.

However, if you believe for any legal reason that your ex-spouse should not be entitled to this percentage of your pension, you can pursue court proceedings.

A judge will determine what percentage of your pension should be given to either party once all relevant evidence has been produced and your finances have been explored in further detail.

Receive support from expert divorce solicitors

At Freeman Jones Legal, sorting out your financial affairs in the midst of what is often a stressful and emotionally turbulent period can feel impossible.

To help you through this testing time, we’ve amassed a supportive team of experienced divorce solicitors that are skilled in creating child custody arrangements, financial divorce settlements, and cohabitation disputes.

We can use a variety of techniques to help you fairly divide your assets, including your pensions. This includes dispute resolution methods, mediation, and even skilled negotiation.

Alternatively, we can also help you to pursue court action in the event that none of these methods allow you and your ex-spouse to reach a fair agreement.

As one of the leading law firms in Chester, we have offices in Wrexham, Liverpool, Warrington, and even North Wales. If you’d learn more about our divorce services, please feel free to give our team a call on 01244 506 444. Alternatively, you can also get in touch via email or online contact form.

Once we have your contact details, a friendly member of our team will be in touch soon to arrange your free, no-obligation 30-minute consultation.

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Author Colin Freeman View Profile
Colin qualified as a solicitor in 1998. He specialises predominantly in family law, litigation / dispute resolution, wills, probate and settlement agreements and has notable cases reported in the Court of Appeal and High Court.
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