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UKfamsol
UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
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my husband left the marital home to live with a woman and her

Resolved Question:

my husband left the marital home to live with a woman and her children just over 2 yrs ago. we are not divorced he is 61 I am 60 he has several work pensions and an NHS pension and he is looking to retire soon I also took an early retirement pension and receive a set amount each month. Am I entitled to half his pension? and if so what form could I receive my share as I have brought up 3 children as well as having battled cancer x 2 and therefore did not set up any private pensions I do receive a monthly early retirement NHS pensiom
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  UKfamsol replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thanks for your question.

Whilever you remain married to your husband, it's likely that you would be entitled to widow's benefits under the terms of his occupational pensions.

Although you would lose these if you divorced your husband, the benefit to you of issuing divorce proceedings is that once a divorce petition has been filed at court, the court then has the power to make a pension-sharing order, which if ordered would give you a share of his pension pot for you to invest in your own pension scheme, to boost your income.

Once a divorce petition has been filed at court, either party can apply to court for a financial order to ask the court to decided how the matrimonial assets should be divided between them if the couple cannot agree between themselves. The matrimonial assets are everything on your name, everything in your huisband's name, and everything you own jointly. Pension entitlements count as matrimonial assets. But your husband's pensions would not be considered in isolation - but added to the total of all the other assets eg house, savings, premium bonds, endowment insurance policies etc.

The court starts from the position that the assets should be divided 50:50 - then looks at reasons why that should not be so eg if one person has a significantly lower income than the other - which is your situation by the sound of it. You might be able to claim 55%, 60% or 65% of the assets - but unlikely to be more. If there are other assets eg a house, it might be that you get a larger share of these, with a smaller share of the pension - but the precise % and end amount depends on all the financial circumstances of both of you. If your ill-health means that you have additional expenses, then that's another argument for asking for an increased share.

The aim of the court will be to order a fair division of all the assets, so that both parties have enough to live on, and can rehouse themselves.

As going to court is stressful, time-consuming and expensive, reaching an agreement is preferable. You can negotiate either between the two of you, or via solicitors' correspondence, or via mediation. The family court anyway now requires the parties to have attempted mediation before it will consider an application to court. Here's where to find a local family mediation service:-

http://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/find-local-mediator/

If you can reach agreement with your husband, then a solicitor can draw this up into a draft consent order to be signed by both of you, then sent to court (once a divorce petition has been filed at court) for the district judge to approve. Omce approved by the court, a consent order is as binding as an order following contested proceedings.

I think you would benefit from some face-to-face legal advice. Here's where to find a specialist family law solicitor:-

http://www.resolution.org.uk/findamember/

I hope this helps amd I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks and best wishes...
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