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UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
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am I entitled to any of my estranged husbands lump sum pension?

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am I entitled to any of my estranged husbands lump sum pension? can we draw up an agreement where by if he 'gives' me a lump sum now that I will return this lump sum to him when I get my lump sum pension in 5 years time? Who would we need to sign this to make it legally binding?
Hello and thanks for your question.

Whilever you remain married to your husband - even though you have separated from him - you may automatically be entitled to some benefits from his pension scheme - depending on the particular rules of his specific pension scheme. You are still his spouse until the court grants the decree absolute.

With regard to the position after decree absolute, whether or not you have any claim on either part of his lump sum payable on his retirement or a share of his pension will depend on the overall situation of the total of all the matrimonial assets (everything in your sole name, plus everything in his sole name, plus everything you own jointly), and also what income each of you have from all sources.

The court starts from the position that the matrimonial assets should be divided 50:50 - and then looks at reasons why that shouldn't be the case eg if one person has a significantly lower income than the other, then they can argue for a greater share eg 60% or 65%.

Going to court is stressful, expensive and time-consuming, so if you can reach agreement without going to court, that's much better.Your agreement can be turned a legal binding agreement called a consent order by asking a solicitor to prepare a draft consent order which you both sign, and (as long as a divorce petition has been filed at court by this point) which is then sent to court. Once the court has approved it, the consent order is as binding as a court order made aftre contested proceedings.

You can negotiate a settlement either between yourselves, or via solicitors' correspondence or via mediation. Mediation is a round-the-table discussion with a trained and neutral mediator whose aim is to help the parties reach a fair and workable compromise.The family court anyway now requires parties to have attempted mediation before it will consider an application to court.

Here's where to find a family mediator near you:

Although it sounds unusual, I don't see why what you suggest shouldn't be part of the agreement between you - but please do make sure that whatever you agree covers ALL the matrimonial assets, so that there are no loose ends to cause disgreements in years to come, and please do take some legal advice to see whether what you propose really is the fairest outcome for you, given all the other assets and your respective incomes.

Here's where to find a specialist family law solicitor for some face-to-face legal advice:

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

Thanks and best wishes...

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi, thanks for the info, its very useful. We are not intending to get a divorce for the foreseeable future as neither of us wants to remarry so don't see this as an issue. If we drew up an agreement that we made between ourselves could we get a bank manager to sign it and would this be legally binding. We are very amicable about this but my husband wants to make sure that if he 'helps' me out now, then I won't be able to reneg and not help him out in 5 yrs time when I get my lump sum. We both have local gov pensions worth around £150k, giving lump sums of approx £50k at age 55, which he is now.

Hello again.

Pleased to hear it's all amicable! But sorry - the only way to make your agreement legally binding is to get the court to approve a draft consent order. That needs to be prepared by a solicitor as it has to be worded properly. So - if you don't want to see a solicitor, it will come down to a matter of trust between you. By all means, write out what you have agreed, both sign it and both keep a copy - but it will nto be legally binding. I don't think that a bank manager would agree to witness this document as matrimonial law is a spicialist area which he/she is not expert in. I DO strongly advise you to see a soliciotor. A better option than writng out the document yourselves would be to get your solciitor to prepare a Deed of Separation, for you both to sign. It's still not legally binding, but it would be in legal language and have more wieght than a document you and your husband had composed, and if either one of you reneged on the agreement in the Deed of Separation, then once a divorce petition had been filed at court, that would allow the other one to apply to court for a financial order with more chance of success than if the agreement had been complied with.

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


Thanks and best wishes...

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