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The financial impact of divorce on spouse's pension

May 08, 2024
3 min reading time

Divorce not only brings emotional challenges, but can also cause significant changes in one's financial situation. The spousal pension is often an aspect that is overlooked during the divorce process, even though it is very important to arrange it properly. Below we discuss the rights and responsibilities that arise, as well as how to prepare for them.

The partner's pension, also known as a survivor's pension, is intended as a retirement benefit for the pensioner's partner in the event of death. This benefit can be crucial for the financial stability of the surviving partner. Upon divorce, however, the conditions regarding the survivor's pension change.

Arrangement of partner's pension in case of divorce

Upon divorce, the accrued partner's pension is in principle divided according to the rules of the Act on Equalization of Pension Rights in Divorce (WVPS), unless other agreements have been made. These agreements can be recorded, for example, in prenuptial agreements or a divorce covenant. It is important to note that only the partner's pension accrued during the marriage is divided between the ex-partners.

Rights and responsibilities

After a divorce, an ex-partner is in principle entitled to part of their former spouse's partner's pension. This right continues even if the ex-partner remarries or gets a new partner after the divorce. However, it is important for ex-partners to keep each other informed of changes that may affect the partner's pension, such as remarriage or emigration.

Preparing for the distribution of the partner's pension

To be well prepared for the division of the spouse's pension in a divorce, it is wise to gather all the necessary information about the pension plans that apply early on. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Start with an inventory of all pension rights you and your partner have accrued, both during and outside the marriage.
  • Get information from a pension advisor, as it is often complex to determine the exact value and distribution of pension rights. An advisor can help make fair arrangements.
  • Clearly document all agreements made regarding the partner's pension in the divorce covenant to avoid misunderstandings and problems in the future.
  • Notify the pension administrator of the divorce and the agreements made as soon as they are finalized to ensure that the pension is paid correctly in the future.
  • Arranging the spousal pension in a divorce can be complicated, but proper preparation provides clarity and prevents problems in the future.



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