At the moment a couple living and divorcing abroad but with a UK pension can share that pension. But not necessarily from 1 January 2021. This summary article acts as an important reminder to practitioners and individuals dealing with these issues to take urgent steps to obtain orders before the end of 2020.
In order to share a foreign pension in the context of a divorce financial settlement it is almost always necessary to obtain an order of the court where the pension is situated. So if a couple divorcing abroad with a financial settlement abroad want to share their English pension they need an English court order.
The English family court has the power to make financial orders (including pension sharing orders) after an overseas divorce pursuant to Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984. This legislation can be used as a vehicle to obtain an English pension sharing order for those getting divorced abroad to share their English pensions.
But there is a big problem. There has to be a sufficient connection (known as jurisdiction) with England for the courts to be able to...
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