I have been asked by a lady whether she will have a claim on her ex-husband’s pension, after his death.
The circumstances were that she separated and there was no separation agreement. They subsequently divorced. There was a house which was jointly owned but her then husband was contributing towards the mortgage but she, subsequently, bought him out of that, after the divorce.
Her ex-husband has died and she wonders whether she would have a claim on the pension.
In Scotland, at least, the answer is a resounding no!
This question reveals 2 important issues about separation and divorce.
The first is that divorce is final. If you want to make a claim, negotiate a separation agreement (the cheapest method) or enter into a separation or divorce action. After the divorce, it is too late. I have had some who were desperate to remarry and I’ve had my work cut out persuading them that disclosing that will put them in a very weak position. Don’t be tempted!
The second is that some things survive a divorce. In this particular case, the pair owned a house together. That ownership is entirely separate from any issues of marriage. An old favourite were endowment policies which were also jointly owned assets. So, be careful that you do not leave any stone unturned when you are organising a separation agreement!
Bruce de Wert
If you have children under 16, I offer a swift and inexpensive divorce at www.MyScottishDivorce.co.uk