Pension sharing orders on the rise

According to legal publisher Sweet and Maxwell, the number of pension sharing orders made by the courts in the past year has risen by 11%.

The pension of one party is split to give the other party a pension fund in their own right when a pension sharing order is made. Introduced in December 2000, pension sharing orders now feature in over 10% of all divorce settlements and 82,290 ancillary relief cases reached court in 2010, 10,205 of which included a pension sharing order.

The global recession is said to be partly to blame for the rise of such orders. It is often the case that the pension fund of one spouse is the asset of most significance in the matrimonial pot, as all other assets are often difficult to release or exhaust. With a stagnant housing market liquidity is now often a serious problem in many cases and with difficulties in realizing business assets, a pension share can often be the only way to achieve a fair outcome.

Pension funds are often now larger with the divorce age increasing, due to the longer period of which funds now have to accumulate. In the 2011 figures it is expected that further increases of pension sharing orders will become apparent.

If you’re worried about what will happen to your pension when you get divorced – contact our specialist divorce solicitors today for free initial phone advice.