Many couples facing divorce, along with their lawyers, will welcome the Government’s plans to end the blame game which currently dominates divorce proceedings in the UK. Opinion is however divided on the length of time couples should have to reconsider before a divorce is granted under these proposals, and the Ministry of Justice is seeking views.
Commenting on the Government consultation, national IFA group LEBC, has cautioned against a rushed approach, which would give couples insufficient time to arrive at a fair financial settlement. “It’s important that due consideration is given to the financial arrangements surrounding the divorce. This must include an assessment of the value of pensions and other investments and a sharing or offsetting of these, or the financial loss to one party may be significant”, said Kay Ingram, Director of Public Policy.
Under the existing process, some couples who don’t get good legal advice, fail to evaluate pension assets, leaving ex-spouses with inadequate incomes in retirement; ex-spouses lose all rights to State pensions and private dependants’ pensions once the decree absolute is issued. If this is done before a financial settlement has been implemented the ex-spouse can lose hundreds of thousands of pounds in retirement income and lump sum payments on death, when the pension scheme member dies before implementation is complete. “It’s essential that the process allows sufficient time for all financial matters to be resolved or many divorcees could lose substantial amounts”, warned Ingram
The national IFA, which offers family lawyers specialist advice on the evaluation of financial assets and implementation of financial settlements also urged the State and occupational pension schemes to streamline their processes in providing information and implementing pension sharing to protect the finances of couples undergoing divorce proceedings.
LEBC Group Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered address: 1285 Century Way, Thorpe Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS15 8ZB. LEBC Group Ltd is entered on the Financial Services Register under reference 760755. Registered in England and Wales Company number 03995199.