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Ask Harris Your Own Question
Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2810
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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My wife chose to give up a career with a good pension to

Customer Question

My wife chose to give up a career with a good pension to become a student. Would she be entitled to a share of my pension because she made this choice?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 11 months ago.

Hi, thanl you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:

-How long have you been married?

-How old are you both?

-What are each of your pension pots valued at?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Married 22 years. I am 54, she is 52. We both had NHS Pensions, mine about 29 years and hers about 6. Mine is still on going, hers stopped in around 1999. The Pensions have not been valued yet but mine will be worth a lot more as our NHS Pensions were final salary and my salary is relatively high. She now has a salary of £35K and my Pensionable pay is about £45K.
Expert:  Harris replied 11 months ago.

Thanks for confirming. Giving the long marriage, if you separated you would both be entitled to seek an equitable settlement which starts at 50-50 of all matrimonial assets - and given the long marriage nearly all assets will be considered matrimonial assets. She would therefore be entitled to a pension sharing order if she can demonstrate that she cannot maintain herself in retirement on her current pension, despite her decision to retrain.

As stated the Court's starting point is a 50-50 split of all matrimonial assets and ensuring that both your needs are met in relation to both assets and income. For your information the criteria considered by the court in these matters is:

1. The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, including in the case of earning capacity any increase in that capacity which it would in the opinion of the court be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire;
2. The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
3. The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;
4. The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
5. Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;
6. The contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family;
7. The conduct of each of the parties, if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it;
8. In the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring.

I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Expert:  Harris replied 11 months ago.

Hi, this question remains open. If you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively using the stars at the top of this page as I will not be credited for my response without a positive rating.