Contact one of our advisors now Call 0800 088 6004

Can I claim my spouse’s pension after divorce?

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

Eager to increase your settlement? Discover the various ways that you can claim and divide your ex-spouse’s pension from the expert solicitors at Wilson Browne.

If you’ve been wondering (or even furiously Googling) ‘Can I claim my husband’s pension after divorce?’ then you’ve come to the right place.

As one of the leading law firms in Northamptonshire, we have experienced divorce solicitors that can provide expert, accurate and up to date legal advice if you’re considering divorce or have been served divorce papers.

Below, we explore how pensions are affected by divorce as well as answer when and how you can claim your ex-spouse’s pension.


What are your pension rights after divorce?

While the rules regarding pension rights after divorce or the end of a civil partnership vary in Scotland, they are the same across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In these countries, the value of both workplace and private pensions should be taken into consideration when drawing up a financial settlement, as they count as joint marital assets.

Can you claim your spouse’s pension after divorce?

Put simply, yes, you can claim your spouse’s pension after divorce. During the divorce proceedings, the finances of the divorcing couple are assessed and stipulated in the settlement.

These finances typically include property, savings and other financial assets, as well as one another’s pension pots. While it’s common for pension pots not to be included in these settlements, they can prove incredibly beneficial.

How are pensions divided after divorce?

There are several ways that a pension can be divided in the UK following divorce.

The three methods that are most commonly used to divide pensions in the UK include pension offsetting, pension attachment and pension sharing.

We explore each of those in more detail below.

Pension sharing

Quite simply, pension sharing refers to sharing a certain percentage of your ex-spouse’s pension and offers a clean break for both parties.

Whatever percentage share is decided by the court during the divorce proceedings, this final transfer amount will be legally yours and will be set out in the pension sharing order (PSO) issued by the court.

Pension offsetting

Pension offsetting is most commonly used to create a clean break for divorcing couples where children are involved.

The primary caregiver will typically keep the family home for themselves and their children, while the secondary caregiver will keep the pension. This way, the value of the pension is offset against other assets.

Pension attachment

Pension attachment (also known as pension earmarking in Scotland) refers to a certain percentage of the ex-spouse’s pension being paid directly to their former partner via their pension provider when the pension becomes payable.

Unlike the clean break provided by pension offsetting and pension sharing, pension attachment creates an ongoing link with your ex-spouse.

How long after a divorce can you claim your spouse’s pension?

Contrary to popular belief, obtaining a divorce does not break all financial ties.

Ultimately, if you do not opt for a financial clean break or receive a court-issued consent order, either party of the divorcing couple can still claim the other’s pension up until they re-marry.

If you’re concerned that your ex-spouse might claim your pension years down the line, it’s important to protect yourself with expert legal advice and come to a legally binding agreement regarding the financial settlement.

For expert legal support with your divorce and dividing assets, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced team today.

With offices in Corby, Higham Ferrers and Rushden, Kettering, Leicester, Northampton and Wellingborough, we can offer a friendly face-to-face meeting at a convenient location.

To find out more about how we can help, call 0800 088 6004 or complete our online contact form.

Heather Davies


Heather Davies

Associate Legal Practitioner

Heather is Head of the Family Team and has over 30 years experience in advising clients on all aspects of relationship breakdown including disputes involving arrangements for children and the financial aspects within divorce.