It’s not compulsory to share pensions on divorce or make formal agreements about how their pensions may be treated – there are pros and cons for this depending upon your circumstances, including other assets or debts.
Before making any decision as to how best proceed, it’s best not to make any assumptions about what you might get or what you’re entitled to. Importantly, people also often undervalue pension saving and many older schemes carry values valuable additional benefits for spouse and dependants. It’s important to get an up to date valuation on all pensions affected during the divorce or dissolution proceedings.
If you reach a financial agreement with your ex-spouse or civil partner, you can ask the court to approve the agreement and turn it into a court order. A court can make an order that you both agree with (the law calls these ‘consent orders’) at any time during the financial proceedings. This way, you get an official record of what you have agreed and a court can make sure that the agreement becomes reality – the law calls this ‘enforcement’. If you don’t turn your financial agreement into a consent order, and your ex-spouse or civil partner changes their mind and will not comply with the agreement, the court cannot enforce it for you.
If you’re thinking about an informal agreement, but would like some more guidance about this and other options available to you, our team is here to help. You can find out more about our services and what we can offer those thinking of going through a divorce or dissolution here.
Where can I find out more?
If you need more information, please contact us. A pension specialist from our team will be happy to help with whatever pensions-related question you have. Our help is always free.