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New help for divorcing couples as they are urged to consider sharing their pensions

Advicenow, working with the Pensions Advisory Group and funded by the Nuffield Foundation, has launched a Survival guide to pensions on divorce for couples sorting out how to divide their finances on divorce.

The guide seeks to address the reasons so many divorcing couples overlook their pensions when agreeing how to divide their assets and urges readers to consider pensions when doing so. As Beth Kirkland, Advicenow's family law expert, explains:

'Pensions are viewed by many couples as too complicated or intimidating, and a lack of user-friendly information compounds the problem.  While many of us find thinking about future finances stressful, it is dangerous to ignore them.  And there is ample research that shows that not sharing pensions can lead to women who have children particularly being in unnecessarily precarious financial positions in later life.

'The survival guide addresses these issues by explaining to readers what they need to do about their pensions, how to find out what they are worth, when it is essential to get expert advice, and what they should do if they can't come to an agreement.'

The guide is the accessible version of the definitive Guide to the Treatment of Pensions on Divorce produced by the Pensions Advisory Group in 2019, and has the endorsement of the President of the Family Division and the Family Justice Council.

Hilary Woodward, Chair of the Pensions Advisory Group (PAG), says:

'In a survey of family lawyers by the PAG about 30 per cent reported that they had, in the last six months, been instructed to abandon, or, in their view, inappropriately settle a claim against pensions because the emotional costs were too high for their client. An even higher proportion, about 50 per cent, reported the same because the financial costs were too high. This guide will be immensely helpful to those going through a divorce with minimal or no legal advice, and to professionals for signposting to their clients. Ultimately, we hope that the Advicenow survival guide will be another important step in improving understanding of pensions on divorce and the long-term fairness of financial outcomes.'

This new guide joins Advicenow's other step-by-step help for divorcing couples which includes guides and films to assist couples to sort out arrangements for their children, reach agreement on finances on divorce, and go to court without the help of a lawyer. All of these guides are available here.

31/1/21