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One of the key issues that are often overlooked on divorce, particularly where separating couples are young, are pensions.
Pensions are assets that are frequently undervalued by parties, but this can be a serious mistake. In many cases, their value may exceed other assets such as the family home. In some cases, the information provided by the pension scheme regarding their valuation of the pension may be misleading and warrant further enquiry.
Pensions are complicated and their complexity means that sound legal advice – often coupled with expert financial advice – is always recommended where pensions are likely to be an issue upon divorce.
In any case where there are significant pension assets, we are likely to advise that both parties jointly instruct a single expert to provide a pension report. This report can provide valuable insight into both the true value of the pensions available to each party and how the parties might seek to divide or share their pensions in a manner that achieves fairness.
The benefits of jointly instructing a single expert are numerous. Not only is the financial burden of the pension report shared between the parties but there is also clarity over the questions that the expert is expected to answer. The costs of a pension report are usually more than proportionate in comparison to the value that the report can provide to the parties and their lawyers, primarily as many cases settle once a report has been obtained.