Pension Sharing Orders: ‘Family Law’s best kept secret’

A detailed study into pension sharing on divorce has been recently published and the study suggests that pension sharing orders are a valuable, but underused remedy.  The study was carried out by Cardiff Law School in conjunction with the Nuffield Foundation and was designed to provide an insight into when and how pensions are included in final divorce financial remedy orders.

The report concluded that pension sharing is a positive addition to financial remedies but that it is the prerogative of a relatively privileged minority, with a mere 14% of court cases being concluded with one or more pension sharing orders. The report further suggests that the current lack of pension and spousal maintenance orders, coupled with the fact that husbands on average have a higher income and pension, means that husbands usually fare better after divorce.  The law on pension sharing is seen to be complex and ambiguous and therefore parties choose not to consider this as an option due to a lack of understanding, fear of lengthening of litigation timescales and increasing legal costs.

The report’s message is clear, pension sharing orders are a positive financial remedy but the complex rules associated with it are causing it to be underused. This issue can be alleviated by getting legal advice from a legal advisor who is experienced in dealing with pension sharing orders.

If you would like help with the legal issues arising from a pension sharing order or any other financial remedy or if you would like to discuss your personal situation with a member of our experienced Family law team, please contact us.

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