What Happens To Your Pension If You Get Divorced?

The breakdown of a relationship is never easy.  It is especially vital that you don’t forget about the long-term financial consequences when dividing marital assets and finances.

When you are going through a divorce, the Court might decide that your ex-partner is entitled to a share of your pension. Particularly if:

  • They are not as financially secure as you because they have given up work to care for your children
  • Your ex has not built up their own pension pot on the understanding that your pension would provide for you both.

In such circumstances, it is likely that they will be awarded a share of your pension.

How much could they get?

This depends on the cash value of your pension and your other marital assets. Typically a pension is the second largest asset after the family home.

However, your ex’s share would be limited to a portion of the contributions that you have made to your pension during your marriage.

It is likely that you will need professional help to work out the final amount.  But ultimately, when dividing marital assets, the Court will try to ensure that both you and your ex leave the marriage with a secure financial future.

The importance of resolving financial issues quickly

When going through a divorce, it is vital that you end any shared financial commitments as soon as possible. To do this, you will need a financial agreement. Without a legally binding agreement, your ex-partner could still make a claim against your assets in the future.

You can avoid going to court if you both agree about how you will split your money and property. But you should use a solicitor to make your agreement legally binding.

Where you cannot agree, you can ask a court to make a financial order.

Could my ex-partner claim a share of my pension if we are not married?

Your pension won’t be shared if you separate from a partner unless you are married or in a civil partnership.

Can you protect your pension during a divorce settlement?

You might be able to protect your pension during a divorce. But doing so could mean that other assets need to be given to your ex instead (this is called pension offsetting). For example, a larger share of your family home or higher maintenance payments.

If the Court does not believe that the agreement is fair and reasonable, it will be rejected.

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