Investments  

How to advise divorcing clients

  • Describe the different pension sharing options available to divorcing clients
  • Identify the tax risks and common issues faced when sharing pensions, property and other assets
  • Describe the key elements of divorce law to be able to communicate these to married clients.
CPD
Approx.60min
How to advise divorcing clients

Introduction

While the percentage has generally increased between the early 1970s and the early 1990s, for those marrying since 2000 there has been some evidence of a slowdown according to the ONS.

According to the ONS data, in 2017 there were 101,669 divorces of opposite-sex couples in England and Wales, representing a decrease of 4.9 per cent compared with 2016.

At present, divorce rates are at their lowest level since 1973, around 40 per cent lower than their peak in 1993, however, among older people the rates for divorce are actually higher. 

This could be due to the fact that there is an increasingly ageing population and people are getting married later in life.

While divorce could negatively affect the assets of those nearing later life, research based on the latest Wave of the Wealth and Assets Survey also suggests 56 per cent of married women do not have any arrangements in place in the event their marriage breaks down, despite one in ten married women planning to rely on their spouse’s pension in retirement.

Given women typically have fewer financial assets to being with, this could be leaving them especially at risk in the event of a divorce.

So how can advisers help mitigate some of the risks posed by divorce, and what are some of the key things to remember when planning and taking on divorcing clients’ finances?

The guide will be looking at what financial advisers need to know about the implications of divorce on clients' pensions, property, and any other investments, as well as the legal requirements and some of the common issues, faced when it comes to dividing up their assets. 

This guide is worth an indicative 60 minutes of CPD.

Contributors to this guide include: Emma-Lou Montgomery, associate director at Fidelity International; Paul Falvey, tax partner at BDO LLP; Nigel Cayless, associate director at Sackers; Victoria Walker, family solicitor and partner at Moore Blatch LLP; Louisa Sedgwick, director of sales and mortgages at Vida Homeloans; Ian Neale, director of Aries Insight; Phoebe Turner, managing director of Stowe Family Law.

victoria.ticha@ft.com

In this guide

CPD
Approx.60min

Please answer the six multiple choice questions below in order to bank your CPD. Multiple attempts are available until all questions are correctly answered.

  1. What is one of the risks of a ‘clean break’ cash settlement if one spouse has a DB pension?

  2. Which one is not a pension sharing option in England, Wales and Northern Ireland?

  3. What differentiates attachment orders to ear-marking orders?

  4. What assets incur capital gains tax?

  5. Why is England is frequently seen as a very generous jurisdiction for high-net-worth individuals?

  6. Which are the the only two grounds on which spouses can seek a divorce after one year of marriage?

Nearly There…

You have successfully answered all the questions correctly, well done!

You should now know…

  • Describe the different pension sharing options available to divorcing clients
  • Identify the tax risks and common issues faced when sharing pensions, property and other assets
  • Describe the key elements of divorce law to be able to communicate these to married clients.

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