Guide on dividing pensions in divorce published
We’ve written about how one of the most difficult parts of a divorce is the need for a couple to divide their assets. Agreeing on how property, savings etc. should be split is – due to the inevitably emotive nature of such problems – highly problematic. Dividing private and state pensions, though, is even more testing; discussing these assets can not only provoke an emotional response but, due to a lack of clear guidelines, also confusion.
Couples looking to do their own divorce aren’t the only ones that find it difficult to decide how pensions should be fairly divided. Legal professionals – including judges – have also struggled due to a lack of clear guidelines on how these assets should be treated throughout divorce. In the hope of addressing this the Pension Advisory Group was formed. More importantly, this group recently published a guide on how to deal with pensions in a divorce for judges, solicitors, pension experts and, indeed, divorcing couples themselves.
With pensions usually being the second-most valuable asset that is divided in a divorce (second only to property), and it having been reported that the law concerning the way they are to be divided in the event of a divorce is unclear, it is hoped that these guidelines will result in more consistent outcomes. Both the full guide and a summary can be found here.
How to finalise any agreement on pensions before a divorce is finalised
For couples that are able to agree on how they intend to divide their pensions, they can make this agreement – and any concerning other assets such as properties, savings etc. – legally binding and enforceable by obtaining a document known as a Consent Order and filing this with the court for approval after a Decree Nisi has been granted but before applying for the Decree Absolute.
A Consent Order will need to outline all of the major assets that a couple possess (which will be disclosed within a separate document accompanying the application) as well as how they are to be divided and when exchanges etc. are to have been fulfilled. Once this agreement has been reviewed and approved by a judge, the agreements outlined within the document become both legally binding and, perhaps more importantly, enforceable.
Quickie Divorce strongly recommend that any couple that is able to reach an agreement without needing to ask the courts to issue rulings obtain a Consent Order and that they do so before finalising their divorce by applying for their Decree Absolute. Doing so will prevent any future claims being filed by either spouse, will make the agreements enforceable and, vitally, will provide both parties with peace of mind.
Unlike the standard documents that are used in the divorce process, a Consent Order cannot be completed by a layperson. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that you’ll need to instruct a solicitor and accept the large bill that’ll inevitably follow. Instead, you can use an online divorce provider like Quickie Divorce. We’ll take care of your divorce and prepare a Consent Order on your behalf for what would typically only buy you an hour of a solicitor’s time.