This is not a Financial Advice column but family lawyers dealing with finances in divorce come across pensions all the time as one of the major assets from the marriage.
Clients often overlook the importance of the pension assets when planning on how best to share the house, the bank accounts and the savings. Older clients who have a retirement date in sight are not so casual about pensions but even if retirement is 20 or more years away, a pension fund can already have been built up by one or both of the spouses, and needs to be analysed for the purpose of including it in the matrimonial pot.
Even those clients who do recognise the importance of pension sharing within a financial settlement, often want to cut corners. This casual approach may be acceptable with money purchase pension funds which can be valued as lump sums in a bank. But if there is any element of defined benefits or other complications that can be found in government and some company pensions, a prudent family lawyer will always recommend obtaining a pension actuarial report. Otherwise, it is guesswork as to how much your share will be and one of you could be very disappointed, the other pleasantly surprised.
If you have any questions about how to share your pension assets on divorce, make sure you consult with an experienced family law solicitor to avoid losing out.