Whilst getting a divorce may appear to be straightforward, dealing with the division of assets can be complex, particularly when pensions are involved. Pension funds are taken into account in all financial settlements and can be the biggest asset after the family home.
There are many types of pensions. A pension scheme you have through work, a personal pension scheme and additional state pensions can be divided; a basic state pension cannot be divided.
The starting point for a court is an equal division of the matrimonial assets and there are several options for dividing pensions:
- Pension sharing - where you have an individual interest in the pension and which may or may not be left in the scheme.
- Pension attachment order - receiving a benefit from the scheme upon the member’s retirement and is dependent upon that membership.
- Pension offsetting - receiving an amount of money whether in cash or in property in lieu of obtaining a share in the other party’s pension.
There may be other assets in addition to a pension such as a private company, agricultural land or inherited wealth which needs to be considered when splitting the assets. These may be split differently to other assets depending upon the facts of the case.
It is important to choose a lawyer who has the required experience and expertise to deal with this aspect of your divorce.
If you are considering divorce and require advice regarding the division of assets please contact QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright’s Family team on 01905 721600