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Could he come back and claim half my pension?

Discussion in 'Retirement' started by fridgegrazer, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. fridgegrazer

    fridgegrazer New commenter

    Twelve years ago I got divorced. I suppose as divorces go it was relatively amicable - some bad feeling. I got custody of the children (older teenagers at the time) and he moved abroad and remarried almost immediately. They are still abroad and still together so I presume they are happy - and I am happy for him.

    At that time retirement seemed a long time away, we didn't really discuss pensions - he doesn't really have one - well not much of one - and he made no claim on mine. However, just over a year ago circumstances came together in such a way that I retired from teaching a little early and have been claiming my teacher's pension ever since. I also do a little part-time work.

    It isn't a massive pension - I worked for 25 years but was never senior in any way.

    However, just by chance over the last few months I have heard of several cases where the spouse has claimed and been awarded half the pension of the teaching spouse, some of these I could see why - they had given up careers etc - but others seemed (to my inexpert eyes) very unfair. Obviously can't go into details.

    This worries me. Could he possibly come back and make a claim, even though I am in receipt of my pension? Perhaps he could claim some of the lump sum. I am no longer in contact with him (although the children are, intermittently) so have no reason to think he is even considering it, but since it has occurred to me, it might also occur to him.

    Any thoughts or ideas gratefully received!
  2. carioco

    carioco New commenter

    If you got a decree absolute and did not conceal your pension at the time then you will be fine as you have a complete and final settlement. Only problems arise is if one party conceals something
    fridgegrazer likes this.
  3. fridgegrazer

    fridgegrazer New commenter

    Thank you so much for your reply Carioco. :)

    Yes I got my decree absolute 12 years ago - and he knew about my pension of course, he even knew that I took out some AVCs (much good did they do me) because I remember him saying something about whether I would be able to afford the payments after he left.

    We agreed on a clean break divorce and I even got him to sign a declaration (which I drew up so don't know how legal it was) outlining this - ie that we each would have no further claim on the other.

    Anyway, you make me feel a little less worried - and even a bit grateful that he didn't pursue my pension, especially after some of the horrible stories I have heard. Maybe he wasn't so bad after all. As I said, I am glad he is happy now.

    Thanks again for your post.
  4. jacob

    jacob Lead commenter

    When I got divorced in 2005 I got her to agree to not go after any of my pension for an extra allowance on the house, all legal and included in the setllement stuff, so she cannot come after mine.
  5. fridgegrazer

    fridgegrazer New commenter

    It never occurred to either of us to do that Jacob, in fact he never even had a solicitor. I actually got a larger share of the house because the kids were staying with me, so I guess he could have gone for the pension share. Just hope that Carioco is right and that he has left it too late, or better still that he just won't bother.

    Thanks for replying Jacob.
  6. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Maybe consult the CAB or a solicitor (preferably the one who handled your divorce)? And maybe investigate his finances...e.g. what did his new wife bring to him?
  7. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I would not do anything that might alert your ex to the possibility of claiming on your pension. I doubt if he could, but why take the risk? If it worries you, then by all means get advice, but that could just add to your worries if it is not what you want to hear. It seems most likely to me that he wil honour the agreement you came to, and not even think about coming back for more. However, if you try to investigate him, he may get wind of it and that could lead to him making a claim.
    Rott Weiler likes this.
  8. carioco

    carioco New commenter

    Hi FG,
    If you have a degree absolute I would imagine you are fine. However, the quasi legal agreement signing might be worth running past a solicitor if you have a copy. It will cost you £100, he would never find out and it would give you peace of mind. I know what I would do
  9. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Assuming that the solicitor gives you the answer you want. If not, it would have the opposite effect.

    I would let sleeping dogs lie.
  10. carioco

    carioco New commenter

    As long as OP is sleeping happily thats fine. Her initial post stated she was worried. Worrying is not good for you
  11. fridgegrazer

    fridgegrazer New commenter

    Well I showed the document to the solicitor I had at the time and he said it was "a powerful document" but I am not sure exactly what that means.

    I think that if my ex ever does come back and make a claim, that would be the time to see another solicitor. I know it is not a proper legal document because I wrote it myself, but at least it does make it clear that the intention on both our parts at the time was to make no further claim. Pensions are mentioned - but in general terms.

    Take the point that worrying is useless though, so will try to put it out of my mind.

    Thanks once again for all your input! :)
    carioco likes this.
  12. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    That doesn't necessarily mean it isn't a proper legal document!
    carioco likes this.
  13. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I was concerned that the solicitor would not be able to say enough to allay her worries, as seems to have been the case. It is difficult to know in advance how a court would interpret something, hence the solicitor's rather cagy reply. It still seems to me unlikely that the ex will come back for more; even if he wanted to, it is probably odds against him succeeding.

    Good luck in trying to put it out of your mind, fridgegrazer. And I hope your fears come to nothing.

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