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I am getting divorced in the US. What will happen to my UK pension plan?

If you are getting divorced in the US and you have a UK occupational or personal pension, your UK pension may be taken into consideration in your US divorce settlement. The way in which your UK pension is factored into your US divorce settlement will determine what happens to it. For example, your US divorce settlement may simply offset your UK pension with other assets of similar value in the US or elsewhere. This can be the preferred choice for couples.

However, it is not uncommon for Florin to see a US divorce settlement requiring a UK pension to be “split” so that a portion goes to an ex-spouse. As a US divorce settlement has no legal standing in the UK, in order for a UK pension provider to “split” a UK pension, the pension provider will require you to obtain a UK court order setting out/confirming the terms of any pension split. Whilst there are various options available to UK courts in divorce settlements, we typically see clients engage UK legal counsel to obtain what is called a UK pension sharing order to implement their US divorce settlement.