Women are being negatively affected financially in divorce negotiations if they don’t include pensions in the settlement, Dan Norris has warned.
Dan, one of our divorce solicitors, said excluding pensions from financial agreements disproportionately affects older women who are more likely to have inadequate pension savings.
He spoke out after research published today by Which? revealed that more than seven in every 10 divorcees did not include pensions in their financial settlements at the end of their marriages.
The research showed that of the vast majority who opted not to pension share, almost one in five (18 per cent) had not considered division of pensions during their divorce proceedings, and 22 per cent did not want to share their pensions.
Dan said: “In my experience there is a wide range of knowledge of the details of finances in a relationship when a marriage breaks down. Sometimes a spouse knows a lot, and sometimes nothing at all.
“It is important that whoever is acting for you in the settlement after your marriage breaks down gathers all of the information on the financial assets of the relationship to ensure there is a fair division.
“The financial information should include everything, especially pensions which may not be especially visible at the time the relationship comes to an end, but which have a significant financial value and should be part of the settlement.
“Older women are especially vulnerable if pensions are not included. They may have had periods when they have not worked in order to bring up children but have supported their partner to keep their pension contributions up.
“When talking to your solicitor about the financial settlement be sure to include as much information as you can. Even if you don’t know the details of the pension, if you can recall seeing letters from a specific pension company, or other correspondence, that might be all that is needed to track down the fund.
“Re-adjusting your life after a divorce, with a change in income, can be tough – it is important to make sure that in your settlement you get your fair share of the assets of the relationship.”