The world is becoming smaller. In West London, there is a melting pot of nationalities.

Increasingly I see parties with assets in other countries, but who wish to get divorced in London. You may know that it is possible for pension orders to be made sharing the fund on divorce as part of the financial settlement.

Generally, if a pension is valuable and especially if it is a defined benefits scheme (final salary), expert evidence is required to enable advice to be given on a fair share of the actual benefits arising under the scheme. But what if the pension is not UK based, how does that affect what can be done?

A recent High Court case has clarified what can and cannot be done in respect to pensions held outside the UK.

The case played liked a pin ball up to the Court of Appeal, then back down to the High Court.

The decision of Mostyn J makes clear that the position, is well, not clearcut! The Judge ultimately decided that pension sharing legislation does not apply to pension funds held abroad, but only to funds in this country.

There are still ways you can receive a share of a pension held outside of this country, but the process is far from being straightforward, relative to the usual way in which pensions are shared.

This is a complex area, but one that with advice from a solicitor can be resolved favourably. If you would like to know more about this, or any other family law issues please contact me to discuss this further.

Jim Richards


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