Compromise reached at an out-of-court meeting involving an Armed Forces pension

Holly represented a Husband in financial proceedings following a marriage of 10 years. The main asset was the family home which had a reasonable level of equity but was subject to a mortgage in both parties’ names. Holly’s client also had a large Armed Forces pension following years of service, over half of which was before the marriage. He had a growing income as he was re-training in a new field, and had used part of his pension lump sum to fund that training. The Wife had a low income but the Husband argued that she was minimising her earning capacity.

Unfortunately the court was unable to accommodate the FDR hearing due to a lack of available judges. The parties agreed, at Holly’s suggestion, to instead hold a round-table meeting. In the event the parties chose to remain in separate rooms and for the representatives to undertake negotiations.

The Wife sought to retain the family home and receive a large lump sum from the Husband to compensate for him retaining his pension, and the monies he had used on re-training. The Husband agreed to her retaining the family home so long as he could be removed from the mortgage, but wished to retain his pension in full and opposed the payment of a substantial lump sum to the Wife. He argued that his need to re-train was inevitable when he left the Army.

Holly was able to negotiate an agreed settlement on the day of the aborted FDR hearing. It was agreed that the Wife remain in the family home and would remove the Husband from the mortgage, backed by an order for sale in case of default, he would retain his pension in full and pay her a small lump sum of £1,250.