DIVORCE is one of the most traumatic events in the lives of those whose marriages collapse.
As if this were not bad enough, it is a matter of deep concern that women are being left impoverished as a result because they are not receiving their rightful share of pensions.
This is unacceptable. Equality demands that there should be a fair split of all assets when a marriage ends, and that must include pensions, which are too often being overlooked when settlements are being made and the wealth accumulated during the course of a marriage is divided.
The findings of a study by the insurance company Royal London make for unsettling reading.
Whilst so-called visible assets such as property are being shared out equally, pensions are not, leaving divorced women as “poor relations” in comparison to ex-husbands. This should come as a wake-up call to all those going through a divorce. The revelation of this inequality is particularly timely, coming as it does in January, the month when marriage splits peak as a result of tensions over Christmas and the New Year. Indeed today, the first Monday after Christmas, traditionally shows a spike in the numbers of people filing for divorce.
It should also be incumbent on solicitors acting for divorcing couples to do more to ensure that women are not left financially disadvantaged by marital breakdown and the loss of pensions. The tragedy of this is that divorced women may find that many years after a marriage has ended, as retirement approaches, they face an uncertain future as a result of losing out on a fair share of pension.