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Failing to discuss a pension could leave you out of pocket

Pensions can quite often be the largest assets of a marriage

Divorce, living together and family issues

There can often be a huge gap between the pension wealth of men and women, recent research shows that generally men aged between 65-90 have almost six times the pension wealth of their partners.

Going through the divorce process can be devastating and is an emotional process, so it’s not uncommon for some divorcing couples to overlook their pension assets to keep things as straightforward as possible; a “what’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is yours” mentality. This means that women often find themselves massively short-changed and struggling financially later in life. A recent report stated that tens of thousands of women are missing out on more than £1 billion every year by failing to split pensions on divorce. It seems that only 15% of divorcing couples include pensions in their financial settlement.

Pensions can quite often be the largest assets of a marriage, but before December 2000 they could not be shared on divorce. It was only then that a change in the law enabled a spouse to have a share of their partner’s pension. Prior to that, pensions were simply considered when dividing the other assets, and for historical divorces this could have led to significant injustices.

Pensions can be complex, and it is important that they are fully understood in terms of their benefits to be able to fully gage what is a fair share. Today, spouses need to disclose the details of their funds but misunderstanding their value or their retirement benefits, can lead to a spouse achieving less than a fair settlement.

It is very important that any divorcing couples speak openly and frankly about their pension savings in addition to seeking legal advice from a solicitor about how those assets may be shared upon divorce.

You might also be interested to know that there are significant changes to divorce law coming in April 2022, you can read all about it at Should you require legal advice about your divorce you can search for a regulated solicitor for free and without having to provide any of your personal details at