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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.


Pension offsetting/Maskell v Maskell, and beyond?

  • PMW
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09 Mar 08 #16240 by PMW
Topic started by PMW
It seems to me that:

1 CETV (not linked to final salary) v hard asset value

and

2 25% CETV per Maskell case v hard asset value

are potentially two extremes.

There must be a value attributable to the non lump sum portion of the pension i.e. the bit that produces the pension income.

Is there a case since Maskell that supports this please?

Since my husband (age 45)and his solicitor are arguing 25% CETV and I (age 44) am told it is the DJ's stance in my area, any attempted negotiation on my part will fall on deaf ears unless I can come up with something better. My solicitor is accepting of the local DJ's stance.

FDR is in 3 weeks and my requests re pension valuation has fallen on deaf ears.

There are other major complications in our case too including Children Act proceedings (my husband does have contact with the children) so I am loath to change solicitors at this stage.

  • maggie
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09 Mar 08 #16247 by maggie
Reply from maggie
Personally if I were offered only 25% of the pension fund CETV I would reject offsetting and go all out for pension sharing of at least 50% at FDR - then make a massive concession to his ego/preserve the value of the pension potentially "lost by splitting" by giving up your rightful 50% of the CETV for equivalent value in the house /shares etc? but it all depends on your circumstances - whether by giving up your right to 50% of the marital pension you could own your family home outright and whether that's more psychologically valuable than future pension income and a tax free lump sum at age 65.

I'm sick of these glass ceilings imposed by local District Judges and accepted by solicitors : "My solicitor is accepting of the local DJ's stance"
The solicitor and DJ are supposed to make sure all the circumstances of the case are considered, not impose some personal preference.
There are no rules or precedents about how much the offset value will be - the Maskell case only demonstrates how open and susceptible to argument it all is- as long as your local sheriff/DJ doesn't remove your rights under the law.

  • Elizabeth
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10 Mar 08 #16318 by Elizabeth
Reply from Elizabeth
Totally agree with Maggie - in every way - I can't mention names of solcitors but I bet they are in Tunbridge Wells, Mount Ephraim!

I wouldn't change your solicitor - the bloomin Maskell case seems to loom large and I wish I could have found a counter one at the time of my Final Hearing when that came into play!

Within the form E your ex will have to produce a CETV of his pension - whatever type it may be. I wish I knew of a case where offsetting had been done and I would have asked that this be used in my case but I just thought it would be offset pound for pound - that is not the case and as far as I can see will not be so that's a big consideration.

Rule of thumb is the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 - move away from this and you will be way off what any DJ will be looking at! Children's interests/needs will come first.

pension sharing is not a bad thing - However if you are in a similar situ to me I hoped that the value of my husband's CETV pension would mean I would pay him less of a lump sum - not so - we had a child each.

Wish you all the very best, would be good to hear your comments - am I rambling?!

  • PMW
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10 Mar 08 #16375 by PMW
Reply from PMW
Thank you both so much for your input.

I contacted my solicitor today and we are trying to arrange a meeting with a barrister this week. On the agenda is pension offsetting, Maskell and valuation of income stream from non lump sum portion of pension.

  • maggie
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10 Mar 08 #16384 by maggie
Reply from maggie
A lot of interest in this topic innit?
Please post the outcome/info if you can ?
I just don't believe we should accept all this divorce mumbo-jumbo without a fight.

  • Peter@BDM
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10 Mar 08 #16392 by Peter@BDM
Reply from Peter@BDM
I have come across a very helpful analysis of the various cases that are often quoted when considering pensions in divorce. I think you will find that it clears up many of the misunderstandings, particularly the relevance of the 25% figure in the case of Maskell vs Maskell. www.tanfieldchambers.co.uk/seminars/PENS...ANCILLARY_RELIEF.pdf

Peter

  • OHPPS
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10 Mar 08 #16424 by OHPPS
Reply from OHPPS
The Maskell case went to appeal and as far as I am aware no outcome other than the pair sent to mediation was offered.
I have looked into pensions v assets as this figures significantly in my settlement. I too had a solicitor for 4 years who often quoted me the 25% offset (rule?) but having worked in a financial capacity (not an IFA)for the last 31 years was not convinced by her as she could offer me no other explanation other than that`s how it was.Obviously we have now parted ways.
There was an interesting comment by a judge in a more recent case Vaughan v Vaughan 2007 that if I remember correctly said that a pension fund was "in the bag" and was added to the outcome of the financial settlement at full value.
If anyone can find this case on the internet please read and although there were a number of issues in the case please leave your comments on my interpretation of the pension being included in the final settlement.

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