Number of divorce pension attachment orders doubled

According to the latest industry research, the number of pension attachment orders made by the family courts has doubled since 2011.

A pension attachment order is a court ruling which redirects part or all of a person’s pension benefits to an ex-spouse or civil partner when it comes into payment.

Figures obtained from the Ministry of Justice have revealed that in 2011, there were 2,283 made by the family courts, a figure which as more than doubled to the 4,632 orders made in 2018.

This comes despite the number of divorce petitions falling by 8.6 per cent from 129,313 to 118,142.

Experts believe that as the average age of people getting divorced continues to increase (currently 46 for men and 43 for women), courts are now facing more complex financial settlements particularly in relation to pensions, which are now being considered one of the most valuable assets available after the family home.

Industry experts are warning people against making errors in relation to pension attachment orders, as they may not be the most appropriate method to use due to the fact that they cannot stop a person from transferring money out of their pension or oblige them to continue paying in, so unless the pension is already in drawdown, it can be ineffective.

Instead, a pension sharing order could be the best course of action when looking to divide pension assets, with the pension sharing order dividing all the assets at the time of divorce.

If you are considering divorce then it is important that you seek specialist advice to discuss the range of options available to you within your divorce settlement. Contact our expert team today to find out how we can help you.