New research has revealed a disparity in the awareness of the impact that a divorce can have on a couple’s pensions, and as the number of divorces rise, this could have a significant impact on the financial wellbeing of a large group of the population in future.

The report from Aviva suggests that 15 per cent of divorced people didn’t realise their pension could be impacted by getting divorced and more than a third (34 per cent) made no claim on their former partner’s pension, and as such it was not included as an asset in the divorce settlement.

Almost one in twelve (8 per cent) of the divorcees said they didn’t have their own pension savings as they were relying on their partner to finance their retirement. The report concluded that as many as one in five (19 per cent) say they will be, or are, significantly worse off in retirement, with many being forced to dip into their savings or enter into debt to supplement their income.

The report highlights a clear disconnect in the understanding that married and divorcing couples have when it comes to their pensions, and it’s not an issue that is going to go away – according to the ONS, the average age for getting divorced has hit an all-time high of 47 years and five months for men and 44 years and nine months for women.

Pensions aren’t necessarily seen as a ‘now’ problem and can be easily overlooked or forgotten. But their value should not be underestimated. Pensions can form a noteworthy part of household wealth, and Aviva’s findings raise concerns about whether couples are fully aware of the long-term financial implications of their divorce.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to pensions, such as: the type of pension, whether it is in the UK or overseas, how much each partner has paid and at what time in their life, and whether the pension offers lump sum drawdowns or spousal benefits. So, it’s no surprise that it may be tempting to stick your head in the sand.

In these cases, it’s important to seek specialist legal advice. Experts who are well-accustomed to the complex nature of this area of Family Law will be able to guide you through the options available to you, such as pension sharing, earmarking and offsetting against other assets.

Divorce proceedings can be complicated, and in some cases  stressful and  tiresome. To ensure that nothing is overlooked it is vital to speak to a specialist advisor who will ensure that you are aware of everything that may be impacted as a result of your divorce.

At RHL Solicitors, we’re here to help make your life easier when it comes to legal support, while providing you with an exceptionally high standard of care.

Our Bristol-based team don’t just try to reach a settlement for you; we help to resolve legal disputes and achieve the very best outcome by tailoring our advice to your own individual needs.

If you are considering matters following the breakdown of a relationship or planning for the future in the event that your current relationship breaks down, contact our Family Law team who will be more than happy to discuss your matter further.

RHL Solicitors will have no delays or waiting times in advising you on your situation and will be quick to get you the support and care you deserve.