Guides & Advice

Solving pension disputes during a divorce

Published: 16th November 2020
Area: For the individual

Divorce is an already stressful experience for many people, so when one party tries to put financial pressure on the other, it can make the process even more challenging.

Read more about the divorce process and the steps involved.

Pensions are a particularly common area of dispute, and the thought of being left with too little money after retirement can be worrying. Luckily, these conflicts can be solved with the right advice.

How does a pension get split in a divorce?

There are two main approaches that the courts take when sharing out pensions between a divorcing couple; these are:

  1. Pension sharing – The funds are split on divorce between the two parties.
  2. Pension off-setting - The party with the lowest pension figure receives a balancing payment in capital funds from another source, such as the family home.

Pension sharing is a much more common approach, due to its simplicity. However, if the pension off-setting route is chosen, it is possible that it will lead to misunderstandings and further stress if the correct information is not provided from the start.

What to do if tensions rise

If you suspect that your partner is trying to use the complexity of pension off-setting to their advantage, for example, they are talking about you losing the family home, it is vital to seek guidance from a pensions expert. They will be able to assess the figures and give an accurate overview of the situation, putting the issue to bed or seeking a prompt resolution.

It is also important to remember that the courts will be looking at each person’s finances holistically. Income and housing will always be taken into account, and further financial support can also be allocated should it be necessary.

Using mediation to resolve conflict

As long as both parties are willing to cooperate, mediation can be a good option for solving any disputes during a divorce. Read more about the benefits of mediation.

Talking the situation through in a controlled environment, where both sides can be shared and all options explored, may lead to a better outcome for everyone involved.

We can guiding you through your divorce with clarity, confidence and compassion

Divorce can cause people to act uncharacteristically, creating unnecessary conflict and heightening stress levels. However, with guidance from a financial expert or a divorce lawyer, disputes can be settled with both parties safe in the knowledge that they won’t be left high and dry.

For advice and support contact Helen Bowns or complete our enquiry form and we’ll call you back to arrange a free, 20 minutes no-obligation confidential consultation at a time to suit you.

From inspirational SHMA Talks to informative webinars, we also have lots of educational and entertaining content for life and business. Visit SHMA® ON DEMAND.

Our free legal helpline offers bespoke guidance on a range of subjects, from employment and general business matters through to director’s responsibilities, insolvency, restructuring, funding and disputes. We also have a team of experts on hand for any queries on family and private matters too. Available from 10am-12pm Monday to Friday, call 0800 689 4064.

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