English Courts have no power to share overseas pensions

Interesting outcome in the family courts recently, in a situation where one party to divorce proceedings has an overseas pension.  In the case of Goyal v Goyal, Mostyn J found that the English Courts cannot make a pension sharing order against an overseas pension even if the other country would enforce it. 

If there is a choice, and depending on the assets involved, this may affect the decision in which country to start divorce proceedings. 

Mostyn J did helpfully mention other ways in which this could be dealt with, which the article summarises – ‘One is to persuade the court to issue an approved consent order incorporating an agreement, backed by undertakings, to obtain an order in the foreign jurisdiction to split a pension there. Another would be to use the variation of nuptial settlement power in s24(1)(c) of the1973 Actto split a pension. This power was statutorily abolished for domestic pensions in 1999, but is presumably still in force for overseas pensions, said Justice Mostyn.’

The England & Wales Family Court has decided that it has no power to make a pension sharing order against an overseas pension.