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Kelly Perks  

Associate, Family

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Women failing to consider their future during divorce

 

Article date:  26/04/2013

A leading family law specialist says that new research showing women are failing to plan for their retirement during divorce demonstrates the need to invest in specialist legal advice from the outset.

Kelly Perks works in the family department of Black Country law firm, Higgs & Sons, and regularly handles the divorces of high net worth individuals within the region.

"The new research, conducted by Phoenix Group, the UK's largest specialist consolidator of closed life funds, found that the vast majority of divorcees are burying their head in the sand when it comes to planning for their retirement," Kelly explains.

"Two in five (38%) of those surveyed did not know what happened to their pension pot when they got divorced and a higher number (42%) will be worse off financially after their divorce. Further findings were that 66% of women rely on state pension on retirement with one in five women (19%) stopping paying into a pension altogether after divorce.

"What's even more worrying, is that the findings found that a quarter of couples (26%) opt for a DIY divorce and therefore potentially lose out on ensuring that they are receiving their full entitlement. This is where specialist advice during divorce comes into its own and can really change the future prospects of someone."

Since the Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999 came into force in 2000, divorcing couples can now share each other's occupational and personal pension funds.  This means that divorcing wives can be assured of an income on their retirement, with a basic guideline that a pension built up during the marriage should be shared equally.

Kelly said that often, people are wrongly placing too much emphasis on resolving issues regarding their homes or capital when in fact the most valuable assets are pensions that are simply ignored.  She said: "This laissez-faire attitude to future retirement planning is creating a time bomb of people who have unrealistic expectations of their lifestyle on retirement."

Higgs & Sons work from two offices in the Black Country - Waterfront Business Park in Brierley Hill and Kingswinford. The firm employs over 200 people, which includes 100 specialist lawyers. 

To find out how Kelly and the family team can support your business call 0845 111 5050 or email Kelly.perks@higgsandsons.co.uk.

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