Pensions on divorce

Pension provision in the UK is increasingly inadequate. Divorced women over 65 are particularly vulnerable as their median income is below the poverty line. Despite the extension of the divorce court's powers in the 1990s, pension orders in 2008 featured in just 11 per cent of final ancillary relief orders.

This empirical study will provide information on:

  • the extent to which pensions are considered in divorce cases, either by solicitors or the courts; 
  • the circumstances in which pensions are likely (or unlikely) to be included in final settlements; and
  • the alternatives adopted and the rationales behind the approach.  

Methodology

  • A survey of 400 divorce court files containing a final ancillary relief order.
  • In-depth interviews with 36 family practitioners.
  • Three focus groups with district judges to investigate any procedural, legal, economic or social factors which might be limiting the impact of the court's powers.
Project details

 

Researcher:

Hilary Woodward, Cardiff Law School

Funding programme:

Children and families

Grant amount and duration:

£74,700

November 2010 - December 2013

Publications

Pensions on Divorce: Project Report, Hilary Woodward and Mark Sefton, Cardiff University 2014 (PDF via ORCA)

Pensions on Divorce: Key Findings, Hilary Woodward and Mark Sefton, Cardiff University 2014 (PDF via ORCA)