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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

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Pension Sharing

  • frednew
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13 Jan 08 #10563 by frednew
Topic started by frednew
I am the applicant in a divorce, am just under 63 years old and my wife is 50.
Ihave given details of my pension pot and am being informed that I may have to share this 50/50 with my wife. (my wife also has a pension and the same will apply, although this is a much smaller amount)
However much of the contributions were made before I met my wife and, at my age, the effect of sharing 50/50 will be substantially worse than on my wife, who has some 15 years to increase her pension, not 2years as in my case.
Has anyone any views on this ?

  • Peter@BDM
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13 Jan 08 #10568 by Peter@BDM
Reply from Peter@BDM
There are several options for you both. To start with, the value of your wife’s smaller pension can and possibly should, be offset against the value of your pension, in which case you wouldn’t be sharing it 50/50. Another possibility, if there are other assets to be re-distributed, is not to share your pension at all but instead allow your wife to have other assets of similar value instead (so called off-set).

Ultimately, you may need the advice of a specialist financial advisor (which I am not) as there are theoretically other “planning” options open to you that could allow you to replace any pension entitlement you lose through the divorce settlement. But, choose your financial adviser very carefully (possibly with the assistance of your lawyer(s)), as they are all not as expert in this area as you might hope.

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13 Jan 08 #10572 by Peter@BDM
Reply from Peter@BDM
Sorry, I didn’t answer your other question about contributions made before you and your wife met. On this, the law in Scotland is different to the rest of the UK. If you are divorcing in a Scottish Court, only the contributions made during the relationship are taken into account. In the rest of the UK, it is usual to consider all contributions. However, if it is a short marriage (I’m not sure how they define short in this context) it is possible that an English/Welsh/NI Court will adopt the Scottish approach.

Some lawyers appear to believe that the Scottish approach should always be taken, but a barrister I spoke to about this recently suggested that this was a rather dubious point. If the divorce is not in a Scottish Court, you may want to talk to your lawyer about this as s/he will know what the attitude of your local Court is on this (yes, these matters do seem to vary across the country!).

I hope that this is of some help.

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