Pensions and assets: what does the Family Court consider?
Because of the various options available for the division of pension assets upon divorce or dissolution, there are many myths surrounding them.
For example, the recipient of a Pension Sharing Order does not receive an immediate lump sum equivalent to the "share" and will likely have to wait until their 60" birthday or such other time defined by the scheme in which the benefits or held, or are transferred, to realise any benefits. Further, if the person having their pension deducted has already retired, they will experience an immediate deduction in any income they are already receiving, even if the recipient might not receive theirs for several years because of age conditions. This in turn has an impact on the extent to which other financial orders can be met, for example maintenance provision.
When deciding how to deal with your pension, and assets, the Family Court will consider several different criteria; it may be a Pension Sharing Order is not the best outcome based on the length of your marriage, the value of your pension, your length of service and the value of the other matrimonial assets. If a marriage is short, and pension funds limited, a court might prefer to "offset" any interest in pension funds generated during the marriage, against an interest in other assets. It is important to note that no two situations are the same and you should have a lawyer who understands these complexities and is able to put forward the best case to suit your own needs and circumstances.
If this is a situation currently affecting you, or you think you might need advice, please do get in touch. We're happy to help.