A report by Scottish Widow’s research team revealed that more than half of married people would fight for a fair share in any jointly owned property and, yet fewer than one in 10 claim that they would want a fair share of pensions.
In fact, the research shows that married people appeared to be more concerned about losing a pet during financial negotiations than sharing pensions.
Part of the reason for such miscalculations is that too many people in my experience still believe that an online, DIY, or ‘cheap’ divorce is the most cost effective and efficient way to legally separate.
It most certainly is not.
It’s absolutely essential in my experience that couples should seek independent legal advice.
The research goes on to state that 24% of women who have not saved anything into a pension, and worse, 71% of divorced people do not even discuss pensions during divorce proceedings. Pension sharing as a financial remedy was introduced almost 20 years ago, and with clients in their 50s and 60s it is often the most valuable asset after the matrimonial property.
A Family lawyer would always know to advise their clients about the possibility of pension sharing. This will sometimes result in the need for an expert actuarial report comparing income on retirement, as opposed to the cash value of the pensions at the time of divorce.
Still convinced it’s a good idea to DIY, ‘to save money’?
A Resolution-commissioned YouGov survey of more than 1,000 divorcees found that the number of DIY divorces – with the parties seeking little or no professional or legal help and representing themselves – increased from 35 per cent among those who divorced over five years ago to 57 per cent among those who got divorced within the past five years.
If you’re working out a divorce on your own hugely complex areas covering child arrangements, tax and property law can easily be overlooked or, miscalculated. Such mistakes may – and can – be rectified by Family lawyers later but the cost to do so will almost certainly have risen years later.
Decorating DIY disasters are usually funny, temporary and reasonably inexpensive to correct. They often occur because we just haven’t the experience to finish off the job very well.
Anyone can be forgiven for wanting to paintbrush over a divorce but don’t be tempted into thinking it’s something you’ll get right without any practice. Reaching a Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute need not cost the earth, everyone’s circumstances are different but a successful divorce settlement isn’t something you can buy off the shelf.
If you are affected by similar issues or would like to have a related discussion in confidence, please call me, Louise Barretto, on 020 7091 2869 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org
The above is accurate as at 18 February 2021. The information above may be subject to change during these ever-changing times.
The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case by case basis.