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UKfamsol, Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Woman solicitor, qualified in 1994, specialist in family law, accredited with Resolution
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HI I am divorcing my husband he is a police officer he

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I am divorcing my husband he is a police officer
he doesn't want me to touch his Pension. He has offered me the equity in the house. I have been advised that could be about £13k.

Im not sure if i am getting a bad deal or not and if it's worth the cost of finding out.

We were together 10 years and married for 5. have been seperated for 3 years
he has been serving for 13years
we have 2 children

i know a quick divorce with no issues can cost about 600 as my sister has just gone through this. However solicitors fees can be up to 5000 and not sure if worth all the hassle but just need some up front advice

hope you can help
Hello and thanks for your question.

The police have notoriously generous pensions, so I definitely think you should have this information, before making any decisions.

Once a divorce petition has been filed at court, then either side can ask the court to decide how the matrimonial assets are divided - if they cannot reach agreement between themselves. The matrimonial assets are everything in your name, everything in his name, and everything you own jointly. Pensions count as matrimonial assets(yours as well as his, if you have one). Both sides are under a duty to give full financial disclosure to the other. Any negotiation should be done on the same principles that a court would look at the situation - or the agreement could be overturned later, if one person eg you - finds out later that there was an asset they didn't know about, or an asset which they only later discovered is worth much more than they thought eg his pension!

I strongly recommend you not to make any decision at all until you have both made a full list of all the assets, and what they are currently worth, and what debts & loans there are as well - and then shared all that information.

Don't just rely on guesswork. Get him to agree in advance who is to value the house, or agree that you will take an average of three valuations. Get a written redemption figure for the mortgage. Get surrender values in writing for endowment polices - and get him to give you a figure in writing from his pension trustees for the CETV (cash equivalent transfer value) of his pension. (You must provide the same information about your assets, including your pension).

The court starts from the position that the assets should be divided equally - then looks at reasons why that should not happen eg if there are dependent children, then the person who is to provide a home for the children can argue for a larger share, if one person has a significantly lower income than the other person, that also means they can argue for a larger share. Even if the assets are not shared 50:50, it would be rare for the greater share to be more than 60%, 65% or 70% altho' it does sometimes happen.

If the only assets are the house and his pension, but the equity in the house is nowhere near enough on its own to give you a fair share of the total, then you can ask for a share of his pension (altho' you will not get it until he retires).

Mediation is a cheaper, quicker and less stressful way to resolve disputes instead of going to court. Here's where to find a local family law mediator:-

Face-to-face advice from a specialist family lawyer would probably help as well. Most will not charge you for an initial session. Here's where to find a good family lawyer:-

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

I hate to specify - but please rate my answer ok, good or excellent - or I get nothing for my time!!! (so the website keeps all).)

Thanks and best wishes...

UKfamsol and other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Thanks very much for the positive rating and payment - much appreciated!