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Important information - the value of investments can go down as well as up, so you may get back less than you invest. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and all tax rules may change in the future. Withdrawals from a pension product will not normally be possible until you reach age 55 (57 from 2028). This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity's advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice.

Know what you're up against

According to the most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics, the majority (111,934)1 of divorces were among opposite-sex couples.

And for couples married in 2011 (the most recent cohort to have reached their 10th anniversary) one in five marriages ended in divorce1. What's more, the number of divorce applications increased some 22%2 in the first three months after the ‘no-fault’ divorce came into effect (where couples divorce on the basis that a marriage or civil partnership has broken down irretrievably) in April 2022. The idea is that it will help put an end to the blame game and allow separating couples to focus on reaching swifter and more amicable conclusion to divorce arrangements - particularly when it comes to children and finances.

As for the divorce settlement, there are laws to protect both sides to bring about a fair conclusion to a couple’s finances. But one thing that often slips under the radar is the pension - even more so since couples have been able to file for divorce themselves online since 2018. In fact, since these so-called DIY divorces were introduced, there’s been a 35% decrease3 in pension sharing orders (a court order that’s used to separate two people’s pension assets).

And as women tend to save far less into their pension this can really take a toll on women’s finances if this isn’t taken into consideration when divorcing.


1. ONS: Divorces in England and Wales: 2021
2. Ministry of Justice - 12 October 2022
3. Pensions Age - 24 June 2022

Take control

Getting divorced - no matter how amicable - can be a stressful time. Being prepared can help you navigate these toughest of times.

  • If you’re thinking about divorce, we have lots of practical guidance for you to read in our divorce and finances pages.
  • Besides your pension and your house (arguably your largest assets), don’t forget about any investments you hold - which may also be part of your divorce settlement. It’s possible to transfer assets between husband and wife without there being a capital gains tax liability, but this should be done in the appropriate tax year. Leave it too late and you’ll face a tax charge. You should also update your will.
  • Once your divorce settlement is in, it can be intimidating to know what to do next - especially if you've received a large sum of money. You may like to talk to a financial adviser if you’re looking for a personal financial recommendation.

What you could do next

Talk to our advisers

Our team of advisers can help you achieve your investment goals, whether those relate to one-off events or more complex needs with ongoing support.

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Take control of your retirement savings and get your money working harder with the Fidelity SIPP.

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Making regular monthly contributions to your investments as part of a savings plan could help them grow into a sizeable sum over the long term.