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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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My husband has told me he does not plan to share his pension

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My husband has told me he does not plan to share his pension with me when he retires (he is 52, so probably in 8 years' time) and I should have sorted my own out. I think he should have told me this before we got married and definitely before we had children, which I gave up work to look after since he worked very long hours. I also raised his daughter from his previous marriage. Where do I stand legally? I am really quite frightened about my future now.
Hello and thanks for your question.
Can you tell me - are you referring to an occupational pension of your husband, or his state pension?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He has a large private pension, I never even thought about the state pension

Hello again & thanks for the information.
Most private pension schemes and occupation pension schemes automatically provide widow's benefits of some sort eg either a lump sum and/or a pension - but only on the death of the member of the pension scheme, and I doubt they would give you that information without the written consent of your husband.
However, a spouse has a legal duty to maintain the other spouse, so if he retired on a fat pension and refused to give you enough money to manage on, you could make an application to court to ask the court to order that he pays you periodical payments ie maintenance. The amount ordered would depend on your financial needs vs his ability to pay.
However, going to court is stressful, time-consuming and expensive - and there is no legal aid for this type of application to court. The family court anyway now requires the parties to have attempted mediation before it will consider an application to court, so the first step would be to try mediation. Mediation is a round-the-table with a trained and neutral mediator, and can often be very successful. It's more informal and cheaper than going to court.
Here's where to find a family mediation service local to you:-
With regards ***** ***** share of his state pension, you will qualify for a some state pension as you will be credited with NI contributions for the years that you were looking after the children.
This website has links and calculators to enable you to get a pension forecast:
The above applies if you stay married.
If you were to divorce, once a divorce petition has been filed at court, you could apply for a pension-sharing order, if the divorce was before your husband returned, or a periodical payment's order, if your husband had already retired, plus an order giving you a share of other matrimonial assets. Whether or not it's part of a divorce, the family court still requires the parties to have attempted mediation first.
If you were divorced, you would get a state pension based on your ex-husband's NI contributions.
I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.
Thanks and best wishes...
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