Understanding Pension Sharing Orders

Understanding Pension Sharing Orders

At such an upsetting time it is important you’re being looked after by a professional who has your best interests at heart. In an emotional situation such as a divorce, people can sometimes agree to things that they later wish they had not, which is why you need to ensure you get advice that is right for you.

Over the past 50 years, a third of marriages have ended in divorce. In 2023 alone the divorce rate in the UK was estimated to be a staggering 42% and while couples enter into marriages with the best intentions, it is important to be financially prepared should things go wrong.

What is a Pension Sharing Order? (PSO)

A Pension Sharing Order is a legal directive issued by the courts during divorce proceedings to divide pension benefits between spouses providing a fair distribution of assets.

What is the process?

The first step is an Initial Assessment which will determine the value of each spouse’s pensions and consider any existing arrangements such as prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. Once the Initial Assessment has taken place a Court Application will be submitted formally outlining the details of the divorce settlement including pension sharing. The court will then evaluate the financial circumstances of both parties before issuing a PSO. Factors such as the length of marriage, spousal financial needs, and contributions to the pensions are considered.

What are the implications and considerations?

It is important to seek professional advice from both financial planners and experienced family law solicitors to understand the long-term implications of pension sharing. Consideration should be given to any tax implications and potential changes to retirement plans, including the impact of pension sharing on a spouse’s financial well-being in retirement and ensuring adequate provision for dependants (if applicable).


Pension Sharing Orders are a vital tool in achieving a fair and equitable division of matrimonial assets. By understanding the process and implications, a divorcing couple can make informed decisions to safeguard their financial futures. Seeking professional advice and legal assistance is essential and at Gilson Gray we can offer both.

For further information please contact;

Daniel Millership
Financial Planner, GGFM
Email:  dmillership@gilsongrayfinancial.co.uk



Sign up to our News & Insights!