Pensions and Divorce Page

Money and Divorce

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Untangling your finances and navigating the financial aspects of divorce

Divorce is a complex process that often comes with various financial considerations, and preparing for a divorce is undoubtedly challenging, especially when it involves untangling your finances. The emotional strain can make it difficult to make clear-headed decisions, and the long-term consequences may not be immediately apparent.

It is crucial to carefully consider the financial aspects of divorce to ensure you can sustain the lifestyle you desire post-separation. It’s desirable to seek legal and financial advice from professionals specialising in divorce cases. Our team is here to assist you in navigating the financial aspects of divorce.

Here are some financial considerations:

Create a list of assets

Create a comprehensive list of all assets, including properties, pensions, investments, businesses you own and other financial accounts. Include accurate valuations, and be sure to note down both joint and individual assets. Additionally, document your income and outgoings, both joint and individual, to clearly understand your financial standing.

This will clarify what needs to be divided and help with accurate valuation.

Budget for the future

Consider your post-divorce financial goals and plan accordingly. Start saving and budgeting in advance to align with the life you envision for yourself after the divorce. Remember that what you desire financially from the divorce may not necessarily align with the outcome. Obtain a copy of your credit report, especially if you anticipate needing a new mortgage or taking on new financial responsibilities. A credit report will provide insight into any joint lending or liabilities you may still be responsible for after the divorce.

Consider the division of your home

There are several options for dividing your home, such as selling it, one partner buying out the other’s share or maintaining joint ownership until certain circumstances arise. It’s important to consider the financial implications of each option. Keeping the home may be challenging, especially if managing mortgage repayments on a single income becomes difficult. Consult a financial professional to assess the financial viability of each option.

Seek advice on splitting pensions

During divorce proceedings, it is essential to consider the division of pension savings, often overlooked in favour of other assets like the family home. Dividing pensions can have long-lasting effects on your financial security.

There are two commonly used methods for dividing pensions during a divorce or separation. Pension sharing involves splitting one or more pensions between the separating partners.

Alternatively, with pension offsetting, the value of the pension rights is balanced against other assets, such as property or savings. This approach allows for a more flexible and customised asset division based on the separating partners’ unique circumstances.

Evaluate savings and investments

The process is usually straightforward when splitting cash savings accounts during a divorce. One partner can transfer money from their account to their ex-spouse’s account. However, if you have Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), you or your ex-spouse would need to withdraw the money first and then provide it to the other partner. It’s important to note that dividing investments and savings may have tax implications and involve charges. Therefore, seeking professional financial advice is crucial to ensure that the division is done appropriately and is financially beneficial.

Be aware of CGT liabilities

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) may apply when transferring assets during a divorce. As of 6 April 2023, new rules have been implemented that extend the time frame for separating partners to transfer assets without incurring CGT. Under the new rules, you now have up to three years from the end of the tax year in which you separate to make these transfers without facing CGT liabilities.

Do you need professional advice to take the first step towards a secure financial future? We understand the complexities of divorce and finances and are here to help you make informed decisions. Contact us today to discuss your specific needs:

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Navigating the Financial Aspects of Divorce

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We understand the complexities of divorce and finances and are here to help you make informed decisions. If you’d like more information on Pensions and divorce, please download our free guide:

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Pensions and Divorce

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Financial Advisor, Carol Lammy-Steele, explains how she helped to enhance a client’s life by providing help and support to someone going through a divorce.

Divorce and Finances

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Protecting your assets and preparing you for going forward on your own.

Divorce involves many loose ends, both emotional and financial. It can generate high levels of uncertainty and financial stress, as it impacts on all areas of your life, from living arrangements to assets and pensions. That’s why financial planning through a divorce is essential to help protect your assets and prepare you for going forward on your own.

Making the right financial decisions during your divorce can be difficult. You may be worried about your future and how you will support yourself and your family. Divorce is a difficult time emotionally and financially. It is important to obtain professional financial advice to help you through this challenging period.

This will help protect your interests, ensuring that you receive a fair outcome and your future is secure. It will also enable you to have a clear understanding of your current financial situation. This includes knowing what assets and debts you have, as well as what income and expenses you have each month.

Future finances

You’ll need to be realistic about your future income and expenses. That means putting a realistic budget in place so that you can make informed decisions about your future finances.

Don’t overlook any tax implications based on any financial decisions you make. This is especially important if you are considering selling assets or transferring property.

Dividing pensions in divorce

One of the most important assets to consider is your pension. Pensions are often overlooked in divorce settlements, but they can be worth a significant amount of money. It is important to get professional advice to make sure that pensions are taken into account in any settlement.

There are several options for dividing pensions in a divorce, and the best option will depend on your individual circumstances. You may be able to keep your pension in its current form, or you may need to transfer some or all of it to your ex-partner.

Divorce settlement

Whatever you do, make sure that you obtain professional advice before making any decisions about your pension. It is one of the most important financial assets you have, and you need to make sure that it is taken care of in your divorce settlement.

With careful planning and communication, you can make the transition as smooth as possible to help you move on with your life and make a fresh start.

5 top tips when it comes to finances and divorce

  1. Get organised

Gather your financial documents to help you and your lawyer understand your financial situation and make the best decisions.

  1. Make a budget

Be honest with yourself about your income and expenses. This will help you make informed decisions about your finances going forward.

  1. Understand your rights

Speak with a lawyer to understand your rights and responsibilities during the divorce process. This will help you make decisions that are in your best interests.

  1. Communicate with your spouse

If you have children, it is important to communicate with your spouse about financial matters. This can be difficult, but it is important to try to reach an agreement on child support and other financial issues.

  1. Obtain professional financial advice

This will help ensure that you are making sound decisions with your finances during this difficult time. There are many factors to consider when going through a divorce. The advice will help you understand the financial implications of the decisions you make, and provide guidance on how best to protect your interests.

If you have any questions about your pension or other financial assets during a divorce, please contact us.

Important information: Divorce settlements are not regulated by the financial conduct authority.

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Our Pension Services

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We offer help and financial advice on all aspects of pension planning, from the basics of pension savings and tax-relief to the more complex areas of pension sharing on divorce and estate planning.

There are various benefits of pension planning including tax relief, potential cost savings and legacy planning.

One of the main benefits is making sure that you are on track to meet your retirement goals. Our Financial Advisors use sophisticated cash flow forecasting software to help you bring your financial future to life.

Divorce and my Pension

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  • The UK currently holds £15.2 trillion pounds in household wealth
  • Private pensions represent the biggest single component of this wealth – at around 42% of the total (£6.4 trillion)
  • Agreeing a fair separation of this pension wealth at a time of divorce will be critical to the future financial wellbeing of both parties

If you’re going through a divorce and would like to discuss your options regarding your pensions then please contact us.

Divorce and Finances

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Divorce is often referred to as one of the most traumatic and stressful events anyone can go through, and it can also be a costly experience. Financial Planner, Carol Lammy-Steele explains how she helped one of her clients through this difficult life experience.

If you’re going through a divorce, one of the many things you’ll need to think about is your pension. If you would like to discuss your options, please contact us.

A male looking sad when thinking about his pensions and divorce

Divorce and Pensions

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A male looking sad when thinking about his pensions and divorceEnsuring an equal division of all the assets within the matrimonial pot.

The breakdown of a marriage is often referred to as one of the most traumatic and stressful events anyone can go through. Divorce can also be a costly experience, often including legal fees, a new home, a new car and new childcare costs. So, it’s perhaps predictable that so many need to rely on savings or credit cards for support during this time.

When dealing with finances on divorce, the starting point is an equal division of all the assets within the matrimonial pot. It’s critical that, as part of the separation process, couples take time to think about and discuss one of their single most valuable assets, their pension.

Relevant factor in any divorce

It’s common that one party will have significant pension provision, and the other party may have little or none. Clearly, this could be a relevant factor in any divorce.

Figures[1] show that in 2020 there were 103,592 divorces granted in England and Wales, but with a new law that came into force on 6 April 2022 making it much easier for couples to get divorced through a ‘no fault’ plea[2], this figure is likely to increase in the coming years.

Impact of divorce on finances

Thinking about family finances may be the last thing couples want to do at this difficult time. However, it’s important to understand the impact that divorce will have on finances, including pensions.

The UK currently holds £15.2 trillion pounds in household wealth[3]. Private pensions represent the biggest single component of this wealth – at around 42% of the total (£6.4 trillion). Agreeing a fair separation of this pension wealth at a time of divorce will be critical to the future financial wellbeing of both parties.

Average age reaches an all-time high

As a result of divorce, as many as nearly one in five (19%) say they will be, or are, significantly worse off in retirement. The average age for getting divorced has reached an all-time high of 47 years and 5 months for men and 44 years and 9 months for women[4], so it’s fair to assume that the levels of wealth accumulated in couples’ pension pots may also be fairly high.

The research suggests that;

  • one in seven (15%) of divorced people didn’t realise their pension could be impacted by getting divorced
  • and more than a third (34%) made no claim on their former partner’s pension and it was not included as an asset in the settlement when they did divorce.

Significantly worse off in retirement

Worryingly, almost one in twelve (8%) divorcees say they didn’t have their own pension savings as they were relying on their partner to finance their retirement. As a result of divorce, as many as one in five (19%) say they will be, or are, significantly worse off in retirement. It’s critical that, as part of the separation process, couples take time to think about and discuss one of their single most valuable assets, their pension.

To supplement their income following a divorce;

  • a third of divorcees (32%) said they dipped into their savings
  • one in five (20%) used credit cards for everyday living expenses
  • a similar number (18%) borrowed from friends or family
  • and just over one in seven (15%) regularly sold clothing/toys/other household items just to make ends meet.

Future retirement income at risk

One in eight (12%) respondents admitted to having to go out to work, having not worked before their divorce, or get a second job (10%). Worryingly, one in eight (12%) also cut back, or cancelled, their pension contributions – putting their future retirement income further at risk.

There are several options available to the Family Court when dealing with pensions and divorce – pension sharing, earmarking and offsetting against other assets[5]. It can often be a very complex issue so, as well as hiring a family lawyer, couples should consult a professional Financial Adviser to walk them through the pension valuation and financial process.

How can we help with your pension?

If you’re going through a divorce, one of the many things you’ll need to think about is your pension. What will happen to it? Who will get
what? These are important questions to ask, because pensions can be a significant asset in a divorce settlement. If you would like to discuss your options, please contact us.

Source data: The research was conducted by Censuswide between 07/04/2022!13/04/2022, with 1,008 respondents who have been through a divorce in the UK. Respondents are referred to as divorcees or divorced people throughout.

[1] Divorces in England and Wales – Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)
[2] New divorce laws will come into force from 6 April 2022 (gov.uk)
[3] Total wealth: Wealth in Great Britain (ons.gov.uk)
[4] Divorces in England and Wales – Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)
[5] Aviva Adviser: Pension and Divorce (avivab2b.co.uk)

Pensions and Divorce

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  • The average age of divorce is now 47 for a man and 44 for a woman
  • One in seven (15%) didn’t realise their pension could be impacted by getting divorced
  • A third (34%) made no claim on their former partner’s pension when they divorced
  • One in twelve (8%) divorcees don’t have their own pension and were relying on their partner to finance their retirement
  • One in five (19%) divorcees will be significantly financially worse off in retirement because of a divorce

Source: https://www.aviva.com/newsroom/news-releases/2022/05/thousands-risk-pension-poverty-after-divorce/

Financial Advice: Enhancing People’s Lives

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Financial Adviser, Carol Lammy-Steele explains how she helped to enhance a client’s life by providing help and support to someone going through a divorce.

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