How to approach the thorny issue of pensions when divorcing

Along with dwindling annuity rates and the demise of defined pension schemes, it is a fact of life that divorcees’ retirement incomes are inevitably lower than those of non-divorcees.

A further downside is that from April 6, 2016, thousands of people who divorce, remarry or form a new civil partnership can no longer use ex-spouses’ National Insurance contributions to help increase their basic state pension.

This development makes it even more essential for separating couples to obtain sound financial advice – not only on their pension situation – but on a whole range of money, investment and insurance issues.

At Jones Myers we have a wealth of expertise in financial remedies – settling of financial matters on divorce. Our specialist team can assist in the complex area of pensions.

As pioneers of collaboration  which offers a viable and constructive alternative to going through the court system, Jones Myers highly experienced lawyers also work with other professional consultants to help both parties secure the best outcome possible.

Among these are neutral Independent Financial Advisers who provide crucial information and advice to both parties regarding pensions and financial planning generally.

This process is vital for the family’s new situation in which fundamental changes can include the extra cost of running two homes, reduced individual disposable incomes and a greater debt burden.

It is also important for couples to discuss their finances openly and honestly. The collaborative process is ideal for this as both parties agree to work through family and financial issues together.

However, when it comes to the divorce process there is no avoiding a full and frank disclosure of each partner’s finances. Neither party can put their head in the sand, nor should they believe that they can squirrel away assets.

Financial disclosure is designed to protect both parties and to ensure that each receives a fair settlement in the circumstances of that particular family, and which may well include an equitable split of pension benefits.

Clients who have resolved issues with their partners through collaboration say it brings wide-ranging benefits which include feeling more in control over their future and improved levels of communication with their ex-spouses. Agreements are reached more quickly and creatively, but far less confrontationally, than awards imposed within the court process.

For more information about financial planning or any aspect of divorce or family law call our team of experts at Jones Myers on 0113 246 0055 or tweet us on @helpwithdivorce

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