Solicitors Who Specialise in Military Divorce – wherever you are based
Our Military Divorce and Family Lawyers understand not only that any family break up causes enormous stress, but that there are issues making an Armed Forces divorce quite different from those of civilians and requiring particular knowledge.
No fault divorce law update
The new so-called “no fault” divorce, a simpler divorce process, will come into effect on April 6th 2022
How important is appointing a genuine specialist lawyer?
If you are a serving, or retired, soldier thinking of divorce or separation, we strongly recommend that you use solicitors who are not only divorce specialists, but who are also highly experienced in dealing with the Armed Forces. Military Divorces involve various specialist issues, ranging from HM Forces pensions, service accommodation to education issues – and appointing a specialist solicitor to represent you is really important.
You can rest assured, however, that our team of experienced family lawyers have enormous experience in dealing with divorce and family law issues for the Armed Forces. Around half our family team’s work involves serving or retired HM Forces personnel. So they really understand your problems and will act to safeguard your position swiftly and with complete discretion.
And we are members of Forces Law, the country’s leading organisation of specialist Armed Forces Solicitors – with just 12 member firms at around 10,000 10,000 solicitor practices in England and Wales.
Getting your military pension right is often the critical issue
In particular our family law team understand that a large part of this stress comes from financial worries on both sides. For serving or retired military personnel,whether you are a Bombardier or Brigadier, the financial worries of divorce often revolve around the military pension.
It’s critical, for example, when going through divorce, to make sure your chosen solicitor understands the three different types of military pension and how to get the correct valuation. Sadly far too many solicitors simply don’t have sufficient expertise to deal adequately with Forces personnel and their family law problems.
See below for more about divorce and your military pension.
Worried about Military Divorce? We offer FREE legal advice
Our team offers
- FREE initial phone advice
- a FREE first 30 minute appointment for all aspects of divorce and family law advice – face-to-face if your local and happy to meet, or on Zoom video if not
Remember we can represent you wherever you are based in the UK – or posted overseas.
So call us now locally on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 on locally on either Salisbury  422300 or Amesbury  622992
Don’t forget that we offer an exclusive 10% discount to both serving and retired military personnel.
Our Military Divorce team can help you wherever you are based
Our Divorce and Family Law practice is the largest in Salisbury, Andover and Amesbury, with unrivalled experience in providing legal advice to the Armed Forces throughout Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset, nationwide and when posted overseas.
However our lawyers don’t even need to meet you. We regularly represent armed forces personnel at home or abroad on the basis of email, phone and Zoom or FaceTime video instructions.
Based on Salisbury Plain? Don’t Forget Our Free Drop-In Family Law Surgery
We run a FREE drop-in specialist family law surgery every Wednesday at our Amesbury office between 2pm and 5pm. NB this is currently postponed during the coronavirus crisis
How Military Family Lawyers can help you
Our experienced Family Law Solicitors can advise on all aspects of family law for Army and other military personnel including:
- Armed Forces Divorce
- Financial issues including military pensions and maintainance.
Click here to read more about divorce and financial issues
- Relationship breakdown and property rights
Our Family Lawyers our real specialists – divorce and family law is all they do, and about 50% of that work is for military clients nationwide and overseas.
We also take training and developing our lawyers very seriously- and that’s why the team includes 2 jointly qualified Family Mediator/Lawyers and an accredited Collaborative lawyer.
No fault divorce law update
As at June 2021, the UK government indicated that their plans to introduce a new so-called “no fault” divorce have been postponed. The current expectation is that the new simpler divorce process will impinge introduced next year, in April 2022
Divorce and My Military Pension – What Do I Stand To Lose?
The Armed Forces Pension Scheme allows orders to be made upon divorce to share anything between 1% and 100% of your pension with your spouse. A military pension is a very important asset in financial terms, and for many service personnel is by far their most valuable financial asset.
So don’t run the risk of losing too much of your pension. Protect your interests by getting specialist legal advice as soon as you can from solicitors who really understand the military – from solicitors like us.
Click here to find out more about Armed Forces Pensions and Divorce
How Much Is My Military Pension Actually Worth?
Making sure your pension has been valued properly is the first stage.
Firstly, many solicitors don’t regularly deal with military divorce, and are often completely unaware that there is more than one military pension – where there are, of course, three different schemes – AFPS 75, AFPS 05 and AFPS 15.
Secondly, we don’t usually rely on the standard valuation from the Veterans UK Pension Division in Kentigern House in Glasgow, which actually often undervalues a military pension. Instead we routinely appoint a expert who this can accurately value your pension. Unfortunately, when it comes to military divorce, this is something many solicitors struggle with too.
But does it really matter to get the wrong valuation?
Yes. Without a report from a specialist actuary, an inaccurate valuation this could mean you end up paying out far more than you should, especially given that in some cases your spouse can elect to take their pension aged 55, 60 or 65.
Can My Military Pension Be Split Up After Divorce?
Yes, it’s possible but doesn’t happen every case. It really depends on your personal financial circumstances. Pension splitting orders are one of the options available to the court when making any financial settlement on divorce – and that applies to military pensions too.
Fortunately in most cases, our experienced military divorce team are successful in negotiating settlements without the delay expense and pressure of a contested court hearing.
In reaching a financial settlement, whether it’s done by agreement or by order of the court, your pension will be considered as part of the assets of the family.
Depending on various factors, including the length of the marriage, and the availability of other assets, it may be necessary to share your military pension.
If that is your choice, or is it only practical option available, pension sharing can be done either through a Pension Sharing Order or an Attachment Order. Tax differences between the two are important, and the most commonly used arrangement is the Pension Sharing Order, where each party pays their own tax.
Our military family law team can discuss with you what’s right given your personal circumstances – and if some form of pension sharing is essential, they will advise on the most sensible way for you to arrange paying part of your pension to your ex-spouse.
Thinking of getting divorced? Any delay could cost you
We would never recommend any client get divorced until they are sure it’s the right decision for them, and that the time is right.
However, every time you get promoted, the value of your pension increases. If you have sadly decided that your marriage has broken down beyond all hope of reconciliation, you may want to act promptly to protect your finances.
The date at which you can start to claim any pension is after 16 years serving as an officer, or 22 years serving in other ranks. If you are part of the 1975 pension scheme and have been in the military for some time, these dates may be rapidly approaching. A pension valued after the Immediate Pension Point will be worth more than a pension valued before, so act quickly.
Bonallack and Bishop have signed the Armed Forces Covenant
As part of our commitment to support the Armed Forces Community, we have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant – which is a promise that those who serve or have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.