Under UK law, pensions are considered to be a joint marital asset. This means that when a couple is divorcing, pensions are liable to be viewed as collateral and divided accordingly. The way that they are divided differs between cases depending on a number of important factors. Current guidelines aim to divide combined assets evenly, however, the way this is achieved is not always straightforward, which is where specialist firms such as Major Family Law can help navigate the various pitfalls.
A 50/50 split: What does it actually mean?
UK divorce legislation uses the equal division of matrimonial assets as a starting point from which to generate a financial resolution that is fair to both parties. The primary consideration for the Courts is the provision made for any dependent children. For example, if the main caregiver retains the marital property in order to provide a stable home for the children, the other partner may be allocated other financial assets instead, such as a lump sum payment or a larger stake in any pensions.
Which pensions can be split during divorce proceedings?
How are pensions split?
There are three ways in which pensions can be divided up during the divorce process. These are:
Pensions are commonly overlooked as financial
Research has suggested that around 70% of married couples fail to talk about their pensions before getting divorced. This means that many people either don’t even know that a spousal pension exists or that it counts as marital collateral. Factors which can influence the percentage of your husband’s pension that you may be entitled to include:
What is taken into consideration during a decision?
Factors taken into account are highly dependent on individual circumstances. For example, if you haven’t been married for very long, you are significantly younger than your husband and have greater future earning capacity, or if the majority of their pension had been contributed prior to the marriage.