Lauren Harley
Associate Solicitor
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Date Published:19 Oct 2017 Last Updated:02 Aug 2021

Same-Sex Divorce and Pensions

Family Law

In July 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that a same sex spouse should be entitled to the same spousal pension provision as a heterosexual spouse whilst they remain married. Mr Walker and his legal team successfully secured equal pension rights for gay couples in the landmark discrimination case.

How this applies to a same sex divorce

Whilst a financial settlement is negotiated, parties typically agree not to apply for Decree Absolute to dissolve the marriage until a final order has been made. One of the reasons why, is because from the date of Decree Absolute the parties are no longer married and a spouse loses his or her right to a spouse’s pension in the event the other spouse dies.

All couples, including same sex couples, should consider the implication of applying for Decree Absolute whilst issuing divorce proceedings and negotiating a financial settlement.

Our family lawyers have considerable experience of handling pension arrangements on divorce. A pension can be the most valuable asset in a marriage and we can advise you on your options in relation to financial settlement on divorce which
involves yours or your spouse’s pension.

If you require any advice on LGBT family issues, such as divorce and pensions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Same-Sex Divorce Advice service lawyers. Call 01202 525333 or send an email enquiry.