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Pension after divorce?

(57 Posts)
Buildasnowman Sun 02-Nov-14 16:21:25

Name changed just in case....
Together 7 years, separated 1yr then divorced 1.5yrs. 2 children together, XH also has older child.
He is being horrible about child payment and access etc. just wondered - am I still entitled to go for part of his pension? With his company and his own contributions it is about £700 per month. I didn't ask for spousal maintenance (or whatever it is called now) just child maintenance which he doesnt pay the minimum

Greengrow Sun 02-Nov-14 17:18:59

I think it all comes down in England to whether you had a financial consent order/court order on finances stamped by the court when you divorced 1.5 years ago or just a decree absolute. If the finances are not finally settled in that way then anything is up for grabs.

Is the pension in payment - i.e. he has bought an annuity and he is being paid £700 a month from it or is that what he will get when he starts to take the pension in future?

Buildasnowman Sun 02-Nov-14 17:29:57

Thanks, just dug out the final decree. The only notes made were as per the picture attached. He pays 350 his company pays 350 a month minimum and is for a minimum of 45k per year on retirement
Thank you just very clueless - I'm not money grabbing but he's getting personal and I want him to back off and just pay the recommended minimum for his children

Buildasnowman Sun 02-Nov-14 17:30:24

Attachment hopefully!

bobs123 Sun 02-Nov-14 17:41:40

Sounds like quite a decent pension.

Don't know much but did you sort out all the finance stuff when you got divorced? If not he would have to produce a CETV (Cash Asset Transfer Value)
Sounds like the whole pension pot could be valued at very approx £800,000

However an argument could be made that only the period when you were married up to when you divorced should count, so if for example he started paying into this pension years before you got married it shouldn't all count.

Sounds like you ned to see a solicitor.

And why isn't he paying full child maintenance? Contact the CMS

Buildasnowman Sun 02-Nov-14 18:21:46

Hi. We didn't have any finances really to sort as we rented as he gave his house to his first wife so no assets to split. We agreed to an amount he would pay but he refuses to increase it even after pay increases, promotion and inflation it has changed - he would pay more in to his pension to avoid paying me more or move in with his gf to reduce it further so I haven't bothered and just settled for the amount but I just asked for a small increase as it has been a couple of years and he's got horrible again.
I wouldn't look at the whole pension - just the 7yrs we were living together

whattodoforthebest2 Sun 02-Nov-14 18:28:44

You need to see a solicitor. If you haven't agreed a consent order then hopefully you can do that now and you should get a specific amount in child support and annual increases in line with inflation. You may also be able to seek maintenance for yourself and a share of his pension. What do you have to lose by asking the question?

Greengrow Sun 02-Nov-14 18:32:24

I don't think that's the right page - it just seems to be a summary of effects divorce has.
What a solicitor will need to know is if you are something called a "consent order" or a court order about finances. It will have a court stamp or seal on it and a date and will say something like "it is ordered....."
Some of those are final "clean breaks" what we had which means you cannot come after each other for more later. Some are on going maintenance which can be varied in various cases. Or you may not have settled the finances at the time because you both have very little money in which case you may be able to obtain a "pension sharing" order IF his pension is not yet paying out. Is he receiving pension income each month or does he have a pension fund me might draw on once he is 65? If he has the income now then that is just like his other income and you might be able to get an increase on what he currently pays.

It is a bit confusing because you write about him paying more into a pension as if he is below pension age and still paying into a pension and then I think also suggest he is already receiving the pension £700 a month. Do you mean he pays £700 a month into his pension and he is not drawing it yet? Do you have a pension he could claim on as all these things work two ways - I paid out to my ex on the divorce not the other way round.

Buildasnowman Sun 02-Nov-14 18:45:13

Sorry for the confusion. That and the other decree nisi is the only pieces of paper we have from te court. He's in his 40s, still working and total pension contributions from both him and his company are 700 a month (they were 4 years ago so more now I imagine) so he isn't drawing a pension now just his decent salary. I don't have a pension or any assets - I'm actually on income support with two under 5s but will be going back to work part time (if I can find a job!) when both are at school in another year. The divorce was done just before benefits change so my solicitor costs are covered but done v basicay (saw them once) and he didn't have a solicitor then just agreed to the unreasonable behaviour on the divorce and that he would pay me X amount which would change if his pay changed.
I can't affford a solicitor so I'm a bit stuck!

Buildasnowman Sun 02-Nov-14 18:48:51

I did have a v good job before children but we agreed I would stay at home until the youngest was 7 hence why I haven't worked in quite a few years. I havent gone for his pension before as I just wanted money for the children which I thought he would do but he gets horrible as soon as I ask about reviewing it. I know he's going for Christmas access next :-(

bobs123 Sun 02-Nov-14 19:45:23

Whether it's maintenance or Christmas access you will have to mak him realise that you both have to be reasonable.

You say you can't afford a solicitor...go and see one on a free 1st consult.

Also google CSA (now become the CMS but I couldn't get a result searching for that) and read what it has to say. You can ring up and talk through your options and I believe you have to register (£20) before you can make a claim. There is also a calculator tool somewhere which will tell you how much he should be paying if you know his income.

Thus armed with as much knowledge as possible, you will have to discuss what you have found to be fair and reasonable, and give him the option to pay it voluntarily or via the CMS. There are now enforcement rules in place which means the maintenance can be taken straight from his pay packet - charges too!!!

bobs123 Sun 02-Nov-14 19:46:35

And just tell him that if you can't decide between you, you (unwillingly) will have to leave it to the experts as to what is reasonable...

Buildasnowman Sun 02-Nov-14 20:04:14

Thanks bob - not sure what he's earning now but I worh estimates according to the Csa/cms calculator he's underpaying.
Really appreciate all the advice I've been give . He said he's seeing a solicitor so will wait to hear from them, by the looks of things we have to go to mediation before court. I will start looking at local solicitors now...

Greengrow Sun 02-Nov-14 21:16:12

The attachment above on my screen any way is one page and not from someone's divorce. It's just a summary about divorce in general.
If you have a final consent order you cannot claim on the pension. If you don't you can so it's very important to know which. However it sounds like even if it was a court consent order it was not a "clean break" or was it? Does he pay money for you as well as for the children or just for the children? (Clean breaks are just with the spouse).

Assuming there was no clean break or no court order then you can apply for a pension splitting order and a final divorce finances order. Write to him first saying that as you know he has not been paying sufficient and the finances on the divorce were not finally settled. You have taken legal advice and been advised he should increase his monthly amounts to £XXX and also that you should apply for a pension splitting order (that means part of his pension is ear marked for you and you get it on retirement age - it does not mean cash now).

Much better if you and he can reach agreement rather than a lot of money wasted on both sides on lawyers.

Buildasnowman Sun 02-Nov-14 21:22:40

Thanks so much green- sorry was on phone earlier so not typing as fluently as normal! The divorce was a single sheet with out details and the dates at the top, then the bottom half of the paper is what I took the photo of so no final consent order, no spousal maintenance (is it called periodical payments now?) just a fixed amount for the children. All in England (sorry if I hadn't said that before).

A friend is a solicitor, not family law but maybe I could get her to help draft a carefully worded letter to him.

Thank you again for your advice.

bobs123 Sun 02-Nov-14 21:31:34

If funds are tight I would suggest getting a free 1st consult to get an idea of your rights. then depending on what he comes up with from the solicitor you could just both go straight to mediation (google Form E which has to be filled in by both parties in which you both have to give full disclosure). Mediation is way cheaper and quicker than court, and suggesting claiming through the CMS should make him get his finger out!

Be are you can't to my knowledge get maintenance payments in arrears so beware of procrastination on his part!!!

Also as Greengrow says - except don't say you have sought legal advice unless you have!

bobs123 Sun 02-Nov-14 21:32:35

Yay you have a friend who is a solicitor - lucky you!!!!!!!! smile

Buildasnowman Sun 02-Nov-14 21:38:56

Thanks Bob, going to ask around I think for recommendations for solicitors as I made the mistake of getting one from Google last time! My friend is great but unfortunately hasnt worked in family law. although I beleive mediation is one thing I can still get financial aid with. Thank you!!

bobs123 Sun 02-Nov-14 23:05:58

Good luck. Hope I hall in some small way - and it's only what I've learned in the course of going through the process myself.

Knowledge is power smile

bobs123 Sun 02-Nov-14 23:06:18

Hall? helped!

Buildasnowman Sun 02-Nov-14 23:24:35

It has! Thank you!

whattodoforthebest2 Mon 03-Nov-14 17:57:32

Can I just point out that you don't have to wait until retirement age to take your share of the pension from his fund. You can transfer it out to a fund of your choice, or to a SIPP (self-invested pension plan). I started a SIPP with my share and have avoided all the costs involved in holding a pension fund with a traditional provider. Also pension rules are changing as of next year, so that cash can be taken out before retirement age (which may be subject to tax, depending on how much you take).

If he has accrued a sizeable pension over the time you were together, it would be very unwise to ignore it. It could provide a good fund for your retirement and even a cash lump sum before then.

bobs123 Mon 03-Nov-14 22:17:16

Yes I had heard that the rules are changing next year which worries me somewhat as my stbx could take a lump sum out leaving less in the pension. I don't know if this has anything to do with him dragging his heels so much (he's 58)

whattodoforthebest2 Mon 03-Nov-14 23:41:33

You can already take out 25% of the fund as a lump sum at age 55, so if he was going to do that, I imagine he would have done so already. From next year you'll be allowed to take it all as a lump sum, but it will be subject to tax at your standard rate, so if you're a higher rate tax payer, you'll be losing a big chunk of it in tax - not recommended.

bobs123 Mon 03-Nov-14 23:44:27

Oh good - he's higher rate! Thanks for that.

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