How to protect your pension in a divorce

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Concerned your ex-spouse has their eye on your pension pot?

Regardless of whether you’re one half of a separated civil partnership or are considering divorcing your partner, it’s important to know where you stand when it comes to splitting your matrimonial assets.

If you want to find out more about how to protect your pension in a divorce in the UK, get in touch with the qualified solicitors here at Freeman Jones Legal.

Alternatively, we’ve also made this handy guide and FAQ-filled article to help clear the confusion if you’re not ready to discuss your divorce case with a solicitor.

Can I protect my pension in divorce?

Pension pots can be a significant asset (even more so than the family home in some cases!) which is why it’s understandable that anyone faced with the prospect of having to split their pension with their ex-spouse might be keen to protect it.

This is especially true if you’re the main earner in the couple and your partner has a lower-value pension. Conversely, if your pensions are of similar value, they may not be taken into account at all by the courts when dividing your assets.

In the majority of divorce cases, however, there is unfortunately no way to protect your pension unless you and your ex-partner signed a pre-nuptial agreement to this effect.

Instead, pension sharing with your ex-spouse will often be the best way forward.

Ultimately, if your financial settlement requires court action, a judge will decide how your pensions should be divided.

Most importantly, you shouldn’t hide your pension value, assets, or money because this is illegal in the UK and can lead to significant court-imposed penalties – such as having to pay for the other party’s legal costs.

How do I protect my pension in a divorce?

While the general aim of divorce case is to split matrimonial assets 50/50, this doesn’t mean that either you or your ex-spouse is automatically entitled to half of this sum.

Instead, the sharing of these assets, including your pension, will need to be determined separately – either amicably between yourself and your ex-partner or with court intervention, if necessary.

When it comes to protecting your pension in divorce, you may decide to offer your ex-spouse alternative assets in exchange for your pension during financial settlement discussions.

This might mean giving them sole ownership of the matrimonial home (instead of having to implement a Martin or Mesher order) or offering them any other asset of a similar financial value.

How can I stop my ex from claiming my pension in a divorce?

The best way to prevent your partner from claiming your pension is to come to a financial agreement that protects your pension. Once this agreement has been approved by the court and made into a legally-binding consent order, you will be protected from any future claims that your ex-partner might make for your pension.

However, if you do decide to separate without creating a financial agreement (and getting legally divorced), your ex-spouse can still make a claim for your pension no matter how much time has passed.

Every divorce solicitor will therefore recommend that a financial settlement is in place regardless of how amicable the split between you and your ex-spouse might be.

Expert legal support at Freeman Jones Legal

Here at Freeman Jones Legal, we aim to make the often stressful and exhausting process of getting divorced simple. When it comes to dividing your assets, we can employ a wide range of methods (including mediation, skilled negotiation, and dispute resolution) to help you come to an amicable agreement without going to court.

However, if court action is required, you can rest assured that our team of experienced divorce solicitors will act on your behalf to secure a fair financial divorce settlement. Well-versed in drafting everything from child custody arrangements to solving cohabitation disputes, we’ll ensure your matrimonial assets are split fairly.

Despite being one of the leading law firms based in Chester, you can also find a Freeman Jones Legal office in Wrexham, Liverpool, Warrington, and North Wales. To find out more about how assets are split in the UK or protecting your pension in divorce, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01244 506 444.

You can also send your enquiry to our team via email or using our online contact form. Once we’ve received your details, a friendly member of our team will be in touch shortly to schedule 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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