Pension - Divorce

Discussion in 'Armed Forces Pension Scheme' started by clumpydump, Apr 10, 2007.

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  1. I am currently in the process of getting divorced. My ex is wanting to claim some of my pension. Does anyone know what she is entitled to. We were married 9 years and I served throughout the marriage.
  2. If you haven’t consulted a good Family Division lawyer already. Do so ASAP, it could save you money and a lot of heart ache!

    Good luck.
  3. Thanks, that's taken care of but no-one can give me her exact entitlement of

    a. what she'll gain and when
    b. what i'll lose
  4. Generally speaking she would be entitled to half of the pension you accrued whilst you were married, so in your case it would be 4-5 years worth. You would also be entitled to claim any of hers, if she has one.

    My recommendation is to get a solicitor as soon as possible. The cost may seem extortionate but it will give you peace of mind that things are being handled properly. I am obviously unaware of your circumstances but I haven't seen many people who can remain amicable throughout a divorce and money can always be a contentious issue!
  5. There are no fixed rules or formulae. What each spouse gets is dependant on either:

    1) what you agree, or
    2) in the absence of agreement what you are awarded by a judge. If it gets to a judge s/he has a very wide discretion which s/he will exercise depending on the circumstances having considered a checklist contained in section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

    Usually option (1) is quicker, cheaper and generally less painful. Also option (2) is something of an unknown quantity, and therefore a lottery.

    I agree with Rumrunner and Horridlittleman. You would be well advised to get a decent family solicitor sharpish. The local law society will keep a list of "family" solicitors in your area. See if you can get any word of mouth recommendations.

    Good luck.
  6. Basically you need a statement of the value of your pension at time of divorce (or as soon as practical thereafter). The courts can award her any share up to all-of-it but more likely not more than half. This is different in Scotland where there is a set formula that takes into account time married and awards an "appropriate" percentage.

    You will have to pay for the statement of value of your pension from the Army pensions people in Glasgow.

    On a hopeful note, if she forgets to go for your pension and gets remarried, once married again she looses all entitlement to claim.
  7. The courts always want to see a fair division of any pension so top tip is start fair!

    Get your pension valued through the system, it costs about £175 but is admissible in court as it is prepared as they expect (and it also gives your pension entitlement frozen at the date of application which is better than any forecasted figure you may get from the RAO) I went through this; i was married 11 years out of the 18 i had served at the time therefore offered 50% of 11/18 (about 30%) of the total amount that was in my pension fund (about 20k when calculated). It may sound a lot but, thanks to a ruling in 2000 you no longer have to pay this as a lump sum as you may not stay in the army to see your pension mature.

    If you opt for pension sharing your pension is devalued by the calculated amount (which you may be able to make up with AVCs) and this is transferred to her pension fund. Don't forget to go through the same process with her pension though.

    The upshot of pension sharing is that once the transfer is complete your pension is just that...yours. She will not have access to any of your lump sum or your monthly payments (see earlier comment about not staying in) IMHO it's a fairer system than trying to scrape together potentially large amounts of cash or handing your share of savings etc over and it also defuses the whole question of who gets what after all until you have done your time your pension fund is not "real money"

    She will have to wait until her pension plan matures, which may be when she is 65 but then if you decide to finish early you may have a similar wait.

    There are other alternatives as described in the pensions for divorce booklet but i found that method good for my personal circumstances and with minimal confrontation, the upshot was she refused to get her pensions (which were frozen) valued so the courts threw out her claim to any of my pension!!!! Good luck with the whole process and remember that the only people who really win are the solicitors.

    Any thoughts from pay gurus or was I just lucky?!!!
  8. Oh and get a female solicitor....they can be rottweilers!!!!
  9. Many thanks for all your help. I have a female solicitor at the moment but she is not sure of how the forces pension differs from a normal works pension. That link was very useful.
  10. Probably the best thing to do, as I did was offset what she would have got from my pension, against what I would have got from hers and the equity in our house.

    My Ex wanted half the pension with no rights to hers and the whole of the house.

    My Solicitor was miles better than hers and secured me a very good deal, which is what we offered right at the start. Although if you've not got a house, you're buggered.

  11. I think you are almost bang on the money, so to speak.

    You make an interesting point about pension sharing, and I think that is about right. However, my understanding is that if you divorce and share your pension under current rules, and then go on to complete your full service, your spouse might be quite miffed to find that you can draw what is left of your pension (at 40, say) but she can't because it is locked away until she is 60 or 65 (although she will probably have the last laugh as it will be larger than yours by then).

  12. Normally she is entitled to half of your years service. If you 'ear mark' your pension then as you get promoted she still benefits, even though you have probably been long since divorced. From experience try and settle it with a one off cash payment.