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Divorce can take a substantial emotional toll, but it can also leave a permanent impact on your financial standing. Following the breakdown of a marriage there are a number of areas which will need careful consideration, one that is often overlooked and can potentially amount to a couple’s most significant asset are pensions.
Although divorces can be a stressful time for both parties it is important to remember the financial decisions made then will have lasting consequences. Pension arrangements can be complicated and therefore it is crucial to receive legal advice early on.
There are a number of different ways to deal with the division of the value of a pension and how much will be shared depends on the individual circumstances of the case.
A cash equivalent transfer value (CETV) is usually sought to determine the cash value placed on pension benefits. However, in cases where the pension is of a significant value an expert can be engaged.
Following this valuation there are a number of different options:
1. ‘Offsetting’ – to “off set” one spouse’s interest in the other spouse’s pension, allowing the pension to remain intact and remain with the spouse who earned it. In return that spouse would forego or accept a reduction of their interest in other matrimonial assets;
2. Pension sharing order – the value of the pension is “shared” between the spouses; splitting the pension scheme on the basis of an agreed or specified percentage; thereafter each party can decide what to do with their share;
3. Attachment order – this is a less common route and entitles the non-pension holder to an agreed apportionment of their spouse’s pension at retirement to date of death. This is not a very popular option as it gives limited security to the former spouse and results in an on-going financial link between the parties, as opposed to a more desirable “clean break”.
A negotiated settlement is normally preferred, but where this is not possible, we have the experience and resources to manage a case through to its conclusion in the Courts. Whilst pension division in the context of financial separation represents only one part of the matrimonial assets it is often significantly valuable and serious consideration should be given to how it is apportioned.
Cleaver Fulton Rankin’s Family & Matrimonial team are here to ensure that clients receive a sympathetic but practical approach to resolving all types of issues. Cleaver Fulton Rankin strive to ensure that client’s interest are safeguarded throughout financial separation so you can be confident when you trust us with your case we will endeavour to get the best result for you.
This article has been produced for general information purposes and further advice should be sought from a professional advisor. Please contact Lorraine Keown at Cleaver Fulton Rankin for further advice or information.
Lorraine is an Associate Solicitor in Cleaver Fulton Rankin. With over 15 years experience of family law, Lorraine is well versed in dealing with financial separation and divorce. Should you wish to make an appointment or speak to us about your situation contact us on 028 9024 3141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org