Police pension retained for officer in settlement case

Working with our expert team of solicitors and pensions on divorce experts, our client, a West Midlands Police officer, reached a favourable settlement and saved significant legal fees.

02 March 2022

Divorce and separation wedding ring and contract

The case

We represented a Police Federation member with a significant pension of circa £700,000, who wished to resolve the financial aspects of his divorce outside of court, via solicitor negotiations.

The officer, who was reaching retirement less than six months from the beginning of settlement discussions, wanted to preserve as much of his pension as possible and allow his wife to remain in the family home with their two children after the divorce.

How did Slater and Gordon support?

Our head of practice for family law, Georgina Chase, represented the officer.

A Pensions on Divorce Expert (PODE) was jointly instructed to calculate the wife’s entitlement to a Pension Sharing Order (a court order that shares a pension), and the amount of non-pension capital required to offset the wife’s pension claim, in lieu of pension sharing. Non-pension capital would include the net equity in the former matrimonial home.

On the officer’s behalf, we requested the PODE to ensure that pension calculations also excluded pensions accrued both pre-cohabitation and post-separation. 

We also ensured that the report was drafted on the basis that the Pension Sharing Order would be implemented following the officer’s upcoming retirement and upon receipt of his commutation.

The result

A financial settlement was reached and converted into a legally binding financial consent order.

The officer provided his wife with a greater proportion of the non-pension capital from his interest in the family home, and as a result, this partially offset the wife’s entitlement to a Pension Sharing Order of his police pension.

The parties negotiated the wife’s entitlement to a pension claim based on the PODE report and were able to agree the wife’s pension share based on the calculations, which excluded pensions accrued both pre-cohabitation and post-separation.

A settlement reached through solicitor negotiation meant that the officer was able to save the significant legal fees of otherwise having to resolve matters through the issue of financial remedy proceedings at court. 

We achieved the officer’s objective to retain as much of his police pension as possible and to ensure his wife remained in the family home, for the benefit of their children.

The officer said: “The honesty and integrity of the advice given by Georgina was of the highest standard. It enabled me to make a rational judgement with regards to settlement at what was a highly stressful time in my life.”

If you need us, our expert team are here for you. Simply get in touch on 0330 041 5869, or, if you prefer, you can contact us via our online form or web chat.

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