Divorce & Pensions Settlement Advice

Divorce Pension Settlement Advice – British Military Germany



“A chance conversation with a group of Independent Financial Advisors who specialised in Pensions in British Military Germany led Tony Derbyshire to setting up Divorcelifeline. He realised that a lot of women in the British Military Germany area were probably losing a lot of money when they were divorced. He saw that if the true value of a Pension was not obtained by the women’s Solicitors then the women would lose a lot of money in the Divorce Settlement. He did a lot of research and he quickly realised that nearly three quarters of a million people who divorced after 1st December 2000 may be entitled to tens of thousands of pounds if their Pension Settlement was undervalued, according to LifeLine, a pioneering divorce and pensions settlement advice service for British Military Germany; www.divorcelifeline.co.uk.

Following the Government’s Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999, all couples who divorced after 1st December 2000 should have shared all occupational and personal pensions. According to LifeLine however, up to half of the 1.5 million divorces that have taken place since the ruling have not had their Pension Settlement correctly valued by a financial expert.

Tony Derbyshire, managing director at LifeLine, said: “A Pension is a very complex financial asset and until now, most Pension Settlements were only based on the Cash Equivalent Transfer Value of the Pension at the time of the divorce, rather than its true value, which can be substantially more.

“Calculating the true value of a Pension is actually very difficult and is therefore very easy to get wrong without the advice of an Independent Financial Advisor or Actuary. If a rare painting by Picasso was a matrimonial asset, you would seek expert advice to obtain the true value of it – a Pension is no different, yet it is an asset that has been vastly overlooked by many divorce lawyers.”

Established to address this issue, LifeLine offers divorcees an opportunity to find out whether or not their Pension Settlement was undervalued at the time of divorce and if it was, LifeLine’s team of experts will build a case on the divorcee’s behalf, without involving the former spouse.

“As the claim would be made against the negligent lawyer who failed to fully protect their client’s interests at the time of divorce, absolutely no contact will be made with the former spouse. This is not about dragging up the emotional turmoil of divorce; it is about ensuring divorcees are treated fairly and receive the true Pension value to which they are entitled”, Mr Derbyshire added.

With disposable household incomes dwindling and child benefit cuts looming, this could prove extremely valuable to those who are struggling to make financial ends meet in a particularly challenging economy.

Mr Derbyshire said: “If your claim cannot be pursued, you won’t have to pay anything for the investigative work we carry out, so if you’ve been divorced since 1st December 2000 and think your Pension Settlement may have been undervalued, get in touch.”

For more information call 0208 946 4409  or visit www.divorcelifeline.co.uk

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Case Study

LIFELINE Case Study – Mrs X

Mrs X was divorced in 2004. When she was divorced her main priority was having a roof over her head for herself and her 4 children. At that time the oldest was only 14 years old.

She had been the child carer and as such her own career- as a Nurse- had been abandoned to bring up the children of the family.

Once they were separated, Mrs X used a local solicitor. She had never been involved with lawyers before- except for buying the family home- and she found the whole process of divorce very confusing and intimidating.

When the Divorce Settlement was negotiated she gave up her share in her husband’s pension in return for a larger share of the equity in the former matrimonial home. She did this as she knew she could not afford a large mortgage as her part time earnings would always stay modest- at least until the children were independent.

A friend of Mrs X- who had already used Lifeline successfully- suggested to Mrs X that she ought to contact Lifeline to check that her divorce deal was fair.

When LifeLine was contacted by Mrs X the file of papers that LifeLine obtained from Mrs X’s former Solicitors revealed that the Pension had been valued on a CETV basis- and an Independent Financial Advisor confirmed to LifeLine that the valuation used by the Solicitor of Mrs X was substantially below the true value.

In fact the true value of the Pension had in fact been approximately £60,000 higher. Mrs X had lost her share of that extra £60,000- she had lost almost £30,000.

The divorce settlement had been made in 2005 and Mrs X was also entitled to Interest from 2005 – at 8% per year. Her true claim was for nearly £30,000 plus interest of nearly £12,000 making an overall claim value in the region of £42,000.

From Mrs X’s viewpoint she was not heavily involved in the claim- the bulk of the work was done by Lifeline and the team of professionals they appointed.

The claim of Mrs X was settled on a without prejudice basis- and with a mutual obligation of confidentiality- prohibiting the naming of either party to this claim, or their Solicitors or Insurers.

As Mrs X said to LifeLine – “I could never have saved such a large sum of money from my low income. I secured part- time work following the divorce- but of course I could not work full time because of my commitments with the children. Life has been a long struggle since the divorce. This money will make a huge difference especially for my children- they certainly don’t get any cheaper as they get older!”
The value of the final settlement was in excess of £32,000.