Pensions on Divorce Experts Sheffield, York & Leeds: Pension Division Settlements Following Separation

Pensions regularly form a very significant financial asset or assets that should be considered as part of a financial settlement as part of a divorce, but many divorcing couples fail to think about pensions or take appropriate advice on how they should be treated as part of their divorce settlement.

Pensions come in many different forms, with different benefits and options on retirement. Our family lawyers understand that pensions can be confusing so we take the time to help you understand what pension benefits you have and how important it is for you to get issues around pensions right as part of any divorce settlement. We also have strong relationships with financial and pension experts who can provide specialist advice where needed.

What could happen to my pension on divorce?

The starting point is to ask your pension providers to provide a Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) for any pension provision that you have. Your spouse will also need to provide the same details for all of their pensions. Our lawyers can then advise you on the appropriate course of action.

Pensions form part of the matrimonial asset pot and the same factors that are considered for how distributing other assets should be applied. For more information read our page on Resolving Money Issues After a Divorce. Factors such as the ages of the parties, the length of the marriage and whether contributions were made to pensions prior to the marriage are commonly impact on how pensions should be treated.

Leave Pensions as they are

if pensions are of a similar value or minimal value then it may be appropriate for each spouse to retain their own pension(s).


If there is a disparity in pension provision between the parties, one option would be to “offset” that amount by the spouse with the smaller pension provision receiving more of the capital (for example, from the proceeds of sale of a property) than the other spouse to compensate for the difference in pensions. If this is considered then it is important to take expert advice on how to calculate the appropriate amount.

Pension Sharing

This option allows for a proportion of one spouses pension to be transferred to a pension in the other spouses name. The big advantage of this option is that each spouse is left with their own pension provision, independent of the other spouse. It is important to take advice in relation to the percentage of the pension that should be transferred and also on where the pension credit should go.

Pension Attachment or Earmarking

The court can order the trustees responsible for the pension to make payments directly to the pensioner’s spouse as and when such payments are due on retirement. This option is rarely used as the pension benefits remain in the name of the pensioner and therefore benefits would cease on the death of the pensioner.

Contact our Specialist Family Solicitors for the best advice

At Lupton Fawcett our family solicitors have helped many couples come to an amicable arrangement with regards to Pensions on or after Divorce. We understand that addressing such matters can be a difficult and  we work hard to reach a satisfactory conclusion as swiftly as possible.

If you need some assistance or would like information on what your rights are, contact us today on 0330 404 6443, email us or fill in the enquiry form on this page and we will get back to you shortly.

Lupton Fawcett’s Family Law team are recognised for their expertise across Yorkshire with well-established offices of highly experienced solicitors in LeedsSheffield and York.

We provide a personalised service, with sector specialists and extensive resources to ensure we are giving you the best solutions to your problems.

Our Family Law Solicitors act regularly for clients across the United Kingdom including Bradford, Birmingham, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield, York and Nottingham.  We can support your needs wherever you live in England, Wales & Northern Ireland.

Please either call the office or leave your details using the contact form at the top of this page.  We’ll be happy to help

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is the starting point for a split of finances 50:50?

Yes, the starting point is 50:50, however, this may be departed from as there may be issues to consider such as contributions to the marriage, pre-marital wealth and inheritance payments introduced into the marriage.

I do not think a split of our assets 50:50 is fair, can this be departing from?

The 50:50 split is a broad concept depending on the parties’ individual circumstances and is influenced by recent case law in addition to the statutory criteria. The starting point was set out in the famous case of White v White in 2001, however, there are often reasons to depart from this. One party may earn more than the other, they may be minor dependent children whose primary home is with one party, there may be issues such as inherited assets, premarital acquired wealth, contributions of such a nature which should be taken into account and a whole host of other factors. A 50:50 division of assets is not always appropriate.

What happens if we cannot agree on how to split our finances and the matter goes to court?

The court will impose a timetable setting out the steps the parties will need to comply with before the matter can be heard at a final hearing, unless an agreement is made by the parties prior to the final hearing. If necessary, the court will also direct independent valuations of those assets for which the parties cannot reach an agreed valuation for.

Do I have to pay for all of my costs in relation to a division of finances?

The court can, in appropriate cases, make an order requiring one party to make a financial contribution towards the legal expenses of the other party.

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