So, what can couples – particularly women – do to mitigate the negative financial consequences of divorce should the worst come to the worst and their marriage not last the distance?
As ever, readiness is all. While taking a step back from your career to care for children, it’s important to consider the long-term impact this will have, particularly on pensions. Frank and open discussion about finances before and during marriage, with the help of a financial adviser, can prevent unpleasant surprises in the event of a split, and make it harder for a disgruntled partner to conceal assets.
And, should the marriage break down irretrievably, it’s essential not to rush into separation before taking advice from legal and financial experts to ensure that all assets of the marriage, particularly pensions, are included in the pot for fair division.
Sara McLeish, CEO of Legal & General Financial Advice, says: “When going through a divorce, people are understandably keen to come to a settlement and move on, but our research indicates that too frequently people do not fully consider the financial implications and how that might impact their future retirement.
“People in the process of divorcing tend to focus on the family home, but overlook the mutual value of their pensions. Considering one, but not the other, can leave one or both parties at a significant financial disadvantage.”
With proper planning and a fair settlement, both partners can enjoy retirement – and potentially a new relationship – in a position to take care of themselves financially and continue to contribute actively towards their communities.