Pension arrangements when divorcing or dissolving a civil partnership
Pension sharing orders
Pension sharing is available in all cases where a divorce or dissolution petition has been issued. Pension sharing makes it possible to divide pensions on divorce so that they start and stop when the recipient retires and dies, rather than the original pensioner. They do not lapse on remarriage or when a new civil partnership is entered into, and a pension share would become the property of the person receiving it.
Pension attachment order (formerly ‘ear-marking’)
If your divorce/dissolution petition was issued after 1 July 1996, you could apply for a pension attachment order against your spouse’s pension in appropriate circumstances. Whether such an order is suitable for you will depend on various factors on which you will need advice. However, attachment orders are now very rare, as Pension sharing orders are usually the preferred option.
The need for expert advice
Pensions are very complicated. It is highly likely that specialist financial advice would be needed as well as individual legal advice. Any proposed pension order has to be served on the pension Trustees of the scheme, who have a right to be heard by the Court on the issue.