Pensions and divorce
The Scottish Widows’ Women and Pensions Report 2012 examines the growing gap between the amount that men and women are saving for retirement. The report also highlights the fact that of the divorced women surveyed, just 15% stated that pensions were discussed as part of their divorce settlement.
This is particularly concerning, given the fact that pensions frequently form one of the largest capital assets within a marriage and the Court is under an obligation to take those pensions into account when determining how the matrimonial assets should be divided.
Under a law that came into effect in December 2000, spouses were for the first time entitled to a share in the main earners occupational pension on divorce. In most cases, the pot is split into two new funds.
Given that there are increasing numbers of older couples divorcing, pension funds are likely to be one of the biggest sources of wealth to be divided and expert evidence may be required to ensure that equality is achieved in dividing the funds.