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Pension planning and divorce

After the valuation of the former marital home, the pension arrangements of one, or both parties, can become the largest financial assets of a marriage and these are taken into account as part of any financial divorce settlement or the dissolving of a civil partnership.

On divorce, it is important to understand that there are no ‘automatic’ benefits or entitlements to pension sharing. People often seem to think that just because they have been married they are eligible to half of everything – including any pension – this is not the case.

When a marriage breaks down, a couple has a number of options when it comes to deciding what to do with their pension pots.

Most pensions can be divided by a court order, either after a Decree Absolute or an agreement order as part of a negotiated settlement.

The pension is split at the time of your divorce and you receive a percentage share of one or more of your ex-partner’s pension pot.

The value of the pension pot is offset against other assets such as the marital home.

You receive some of your ex-partner’s pension income, or lump sum or both when it starts being paid to them, but not before they have started taking their pension.

Innes Reid are Chartered Financial Planners and hold the G60 advanced pension qualification. We are registered as an approved pension transfer specialist with the FCA, which means we can provide the very best pension planning advice on divorce.

 

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