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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.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.

Advice please

  • moglet
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20 Mar 20 #511859 by moglet
Topic started by moglet
My husband is 75, I am 63. We are separated and have our Decree Nisi. Just sorting out financial settlement. Both retired and in receipt of company/private pensions and he a state pension. Married just over 20 years when he found an old flame on Facebook and went to live with her two and a half years ago. He has had a large company pension since aged 50 and has around £3800 a month income. I have about £500 a month plus £1000 maintenance he currently pays me. He was retirement age and I retired at 52 when we went to live in France in 2008. I have two very small company pensions which were paid early and don't get my state pension for another 2 and a half years. He is saying that I am only entitled to 3% of his pension as the majority of it was accrued before we married. Can anyone confirm whether this is the case. My solicitor has told me the starting point is 50/50 and that we had a long marriage and I have a right to some of his pension. I have also lost 14 years of state pension contributions. Some advice would be really useful if anyone is in a similar situation. Most of the stuff I can find on line is for people who are still working and contributing to pensions. Thanks.

  • hadenoughnow
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21 Mar 20 #511862 by hadenoughnow
Reply from hadenoughnow

Did you live together at all before you married? Where cohabitation runs seamlessly into marriage, the whole of the relationship is counted.

Were either of you married previously? Has his pension already been subject to any kind of financial order?

Financial settlement on divorce is about needs and, even without cohabitation yours is a long marriage. Needs are needs for housing and income now and in the future.

What is your housing situation? Have you had a state pension forecast so you know what the shortfall is?

50:50 is indeed the start point in a long marriage. How it actually ends up would depend very much on your income needs but I cannot see any share being as low as 3%. The fact that pension was accrued prior to marriage does not automatically exclude it from the matrimonial pot.

Assuming that the £500 a month you mention is from your own pensions, I would imagine that a fair division would be more like 30 - 40% of his pension in your favour (disparity in ages would be a factor). NB This is a back of the fag packet sum and does have to be considered in conjunction with other assets - if you retain property for example your share may be lower. You also have to look at when you would be able to access his pension and whether funds from it would need to be transferred to an external pension provider or could remain in his scheme.

Given the size of the fund, you may well need an actuary to help you work out what is fair.


  • moglet
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21 Mar 20 #511863 by moglet
Reply from moglet
Hi and thanks for the reply. Yes, we did live together for about 2 years before we married and both of us have been married previously. There is no financial order on his pension as his first wife did not claim anything.

We owned a house in France which was 50/50 but in order for me to move back to the UK (he had already moved back) we liquidated all our savings in order for me to buy a small house in the UK. I had previously had my own house when we met. Once the French house was sold, he had all the money from that but there is a £50,000 shortfall on his side which he is complaining about. We have no joint assets now and he lives with his new partner in her house.

My state pension has a shortfall and the forecast is £131.88/week which I don't get until August 2022. The £500 is from my two small pensions but his largest pension and one of mine are from the same pension provider.

I partly think he is using bullying tactics and has told me his solicitor thinks it's ridiculous that he is paying me £1000/month maintenance. We had a nice lifestyle and no money worries when we were married.

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22 Mar 20 #511868 by WYSPECIAL
Reply from WYSPECIAL
moglet wrote:

My state pension has a shortfall and the forecast is £131.88/week which I don't get until August 2022.

Have you looked into the possibility of buying back any of your missed NI contributions to increase this?

I partly think he is using bullying tactics and has told me his solicitor thinks it's ridiculous that he is paying me £1000/month maintenance.

Take anything that starts with "My solicitor says...." with a large pinch of salt. It is never in favour of the person who is being told and usually extremely factually edited.

  • Paulav
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22 Mar 20 #511869 by Paulav
Reply from Paulav
Hello Moglet,
My situation is very similar to yours, except that I am cohabitating and my soon to be ex isn’t. He has the two adult children living with him which he plays to his favour. He too accrued pension (25 years worth) before our marriage. I have a small company pension similar to yours and he has a very large company pension. We used Actuaries and they came up with 19.8% of his pension was accrued during marriage. I was shocked by this as I knew he had paid avcs into his scheme during our marriage. To cut a long story short and to prevent having to go to court ( my nisi was announced 2/7/2019) and the divorce dragging on even long I accept an offer of 28% of his pension. I am not entirely happy with this but the Consent Order is now awaiting a judge to rubber stamp it....there is a point of cutting loses and running. Once I get my state pension in 4 years time I will have enough to live on but until then money will be very tight. Not sure if this helps you but is my experience in brief of a very similar situation. Please feel free to pm me if you want more information from me.

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