Divorce and Army Pensions: understanding your options
Being a member of the British Army is stressful, and it is a career that can take unbearable tolls on a marriage. Understanding such pressures and realising what it can do to a relationship, means the fact that divorce rates are higher for military couples when measured up against civilian couples should come as no surprise. Regular overseas deployment certainly doesn’t help.
When a couple does decide to call it day, many factors play a role in the divorce proceedings, but for many military couples, one of the most important financial aspects concerns the army pension.
How to address an army pension during divorce proceedings
The first thing to remember is that when looking at any division of family assets, the army pension is considered part of those family assets – so needs to be considered when reaching a financial settlement.
Given that the Army pension is more often than not the primary income of a retired military professional, dealing with it properly is of utmost importance during divorce proceedings.
Getting the right valuation
There are two different types of military pension – and as a result, sadly, too many lawyers simply don’t get the right valuation. This can have an enormous impact on any financial settlement – so if you’re looking at divorce and this involves considering a pension built up during a lengthy army career, then don’t leave anything to chance – make sure that the divorce solicitor you appoint is a specialist in military divorce and really understands how to value a military pension.
Dealing with the army pension
When the time comes to address an army pension you will have three ways of dealing with it.
This is a common option in divorce that involve a variety of financial assets with value beyond just the military pension. To compensate for a spouse’s loss of pension rights, they may get a larger share of the remaining assets in order to leave the military pension untouched. It’s particularly important when going down this route to get a proper an accurate valuation of the future value of the pension as an income.
Pension Sharing Order
When a pension sharing order is chosen as the preferred option, part of one partner is army pension is taken and paid into the pension of the other spouse.
Pension Attachment Order
In order to reach a monetary conclusion in a single transaction, some may choose to hand responsibility over to a pension administrator. They will then a pay a portion of the pension directly to a spouse in a single lump sum.
Often additional information may be required if the pension is in a payment phase, such will include CETV (Cash Equivalent Transfer Value) or CEB (Cash Equivalent Benefit). If so, you will need to get in contact with your pension scheme administrator, but bear in mind this information isn’t always easy to get hold of.
Getting the right legal advice locally, nationwide, or when deployed overseas
Whether you are currently serving in the British Army, have retired from the UK armed forces,or you are you are divorcing a soldier, you really do need specialist legal advice from lawyers who really understand the military.
Wherever you are based, we can help with your army divorce – whether you are near to our offices on Salisbury Plain, the South Coast or the Midlands, or indeed stationed anywhere else in the UK – or deployed overseas.
We can run your case using face-to-face interviews, or by email, phone or Skype video – which we find particular useful when dealing with troops stationed overseas.
What’s more, we offer
- a 10% discount to all serving and retired military personnel
- FREE initial phone advice
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