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History: Home UK Divorce Forum
Topic:
Ex-Wives right to claim from ex's pension years later (4 Posts)
Started By:
Date:
28 August, 2017 02:18PM
Ex-Wives right to claim from ex's pension years later
wobmaster - 28 August, 2017 02:18PM
Hello,

I have been divorced 34 years (1983), paid maintenance to my ex until she remarried in 1993 when the order was discharged, paid maintenance for my son until his 17th birthday in 1996 when that order too was discharged. Both of us remarried, she has since divorced her 2nd and my wife sadly passed away recently.
At the time of our divorce, we all agreed to ignore pensions as I only had 2 very small private pensions which at the time weren't worth bothering with. One of those matured in 2014, I took the 25% lump sum and the rest pays the princely sum of £70 per month - the other which should pay about £2100 per annum matures in November 2018 on my 65th birthday.
Several years after the divorce I took out an opt-out-of-serps pension for about 12 years then opted back in. I have taken the 25% out of this and the rest is sitting in an income drawdown account. In 2003 I started a new job after my old firm went bust - I had a % of final salary with them but only for a few years before the collapse - I activated it, took the 25% and the rest pays me another princely sum of £50 per month. Since 2003 I have saved into a money-purchase pension with my current employer, which has now reached a good sum but not an absolute fortune by todays standards.
I have read that an ex-wife can come back any time to try and claim from pensions that were started many years after the divorce?
My ex has managed quite well though, she has a small flat which she partly owns - I gave her my share in the ex-marital home as it was only one of those steel prefabs and I considered my initial loss to be worth it compared with the potential future value of the house my new partner (to be 2nd wife) and I bought together would eventually be worth. She isn't yet and has not even suggested it but her new partner has just become quite ill and may never work again so there is the possibility that her small income will have to support both of them and I am concerned that if they are backed into a corner financially she may be forced to turn to claim off my pensions that weren't in existence until way after the divorce. How can it be possible for an ex-wife to claim off any pension I started saving for 20 years after the divorce? I also have about £100000 in shares/bonds/ISAs/savings,etc, some inherited from my late wifes estate, but none of this existed until more than 25 years after the divorce! Can she claim off any of this?
Re: Ex-Wives right to claim from ex's pension years later
davidterry - 28 August, 2017 03:01PM
>>I have read that an ex-wife can come back any time to try and claim from pensions that were started many years after the divorce?

Not in your circumstances she can't for two reasons:-

1. Pension sharing was not available in 1983 so the claim could not be made at the time and can't be made now.

2. Your ex wife has remarried so unless she made the claims formally by way of a court application before she remarried she will have lost the right to make those claims now.

There is also the small matter of the divorce having taken place 34 years ago. Although the courts have in their wisdom decided that there is no time limit for this type of claim (as opposed to the strict time limits which apply for almost every other cause of action) it is almost inconceivable that a court would not take this lapse of time into account.
Re: Ex-Wives right to claim from ex's pension years later
wobmaster - 28 August, 2017 08:14PM
Many thanks David,
My ex is registered as disabled because she has very poor eyesight and has had this all her life, but it hasn't stopped her from being independent of my maintenance since 1993. Just to help her a bit though I want to clarify if claiming her state pension rights (she would have about 5 years contributions from her job before we married, the 7 years we were married and about the same for her 2nd marriage which by my arithmetic says she could claim up to 19 years worth of entitlement. If she gets a state pension would that affect any benefits she is getting as a disabled person?
Re: Ex-Wives right to claim from ex's pension years later
davidterry - 29 August, 2017 09:33AM
>>If she gets a state pension would that affect any benefits she is getting as a disabled person?

I haven't the foggiest idea because I know nothing about benefits. However, surely this is her problem rather than yours?
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