My divorce settlement-could it include my pension?

Basically, yes.  Your pension, especially any contributions made after the date of the marriage, can form part of the divorce settlement [or settlement following civil partnership dissolution] – and it will almost certainly count as part of the family assets which are taken into account and available for distribution between you and your spouse or civil partner. However, a skilled divorce solicitor may be able to protect your pension.

One way to do this is to offer the former spouse a greater share in some of the other family assets – perhaps, for example, the matrimonial home. It is absolute essential, that you are completely open about the true value of your pension. As with any assets this should not be kept secret from the former spouse or his or her own divorce solicitors.  If discovered such subterfuge can count against you and could lead to far less equitable settlement, with extra costs, being declared at future date – riding or minimising assets is one of the very few reasons where a court can re-open a previously agreed, and court ratified, financial settlement – even a so-called “clean break order”. Worse still, there’s no time-limit on reopening any divorce settlement based on such failure to disclose even if it is ratified by a court] – and not only are you likely to receive a much less favourable divorce settlement in such circumstances, but you will of course incur your own legal costs – and the court will property order you to pay the reasonable legal expenses of your spouse’s own family lawyers.

It should be understood that if there are children from the marriage then their welfare should be a primary consideration when formulating the settlement.