Disabled West Midlands Mother Left Without Divorce Money

Press Release - subject: women's lifestyle / pensions

Case study + image

Around one in 25 UK divorcees could have have missed out on millions of pounds where their ex-partners’ pensions were undervalued during their divorce settlement or where solicitor errors were made in the paperwork.

Specialist divorce and pension consultancy, Divorce LifeLine, says that up to 750,000 divorces that have taken place in the UK since December 2000 have probably not had the pension correctly valued by a financial expert and/or have had their divorce settlements wrongly administered by their solicitors, leaving most of them without tens of thousands of pounds that is rightfully theirs.

When Julie Dodwell in the West Midlands, was divorced in 2001, she was awarded a 32.48% share of her ex-husband’s pension. However, she was not able to access the money when she really needed it because her divorce lawyers had made a mistake with the paperwork*. This, according to Divorce LifeLine, is all too common and usually unresolved.

Julie is a 48 year old mother who has struggled financially since her divorce. She has two children and can not work since she was left disabled by Cauda Equina Syndrome**. To exacerbate matters, Julie is dependent upon a mobility scooter when travelling outdoors, but as she was unable to afford to buy a rain cover for her mobility scooter, she was house bound on wet days and reliant on her 70 year old mother.

Julie explains: “Four years ago I became desperate for the money for my share of the pension from my divorce settlement. I found out my solicitors had not done their job properly and I was not eligible to get my pension share, even though I had been told by my solicitors at the time of the divorce that everything had been resolved by them.

“I tried to recover the pension, but I was too unwell to unravel the legal tangle and I could not afford to pay a solicitor to do it for me. It had all become too much, and I had almost given up. The whole pension process for me was daunting and confusing, with many legal terms and loopholes to navigate.

“I didn’t have much hope left, but then I read about Divorce LifeLine in a national newspaper and I gave them a call. They were very understanding and helpful. I explained my concerns to them on the phone and they quickly gathered the information and documents they needed from me. They dealt with everything on my behalf with my pension provider, Legal & General, who told me they were delighted that I had instructed Divorce LifeLine to help resolve everything.

“After just ten weeks, Divorce LifeLine secured my pension entitlement. I can’t begin to say how relieved I am, especially as Divorce LifeLine’s work did not involve any contact with my ex-husband at all. Nothing has been too much trouble for them.

“I am over the moon. This year, for the first time in many years, I can give my children the Christmas presents they really want, rather than the Christmas presents I can just afford.

“When I consider all the work and pressure from when I was divorced, I can honestly say that this has been a pain-free process. I now feel liberated and no longer have the same struggle with day to day living expenses. Divorce LifeLine really has been my lifeline.”

Jeremy Wolff, a founding Director of Divorce LifeLine said: “We are very pleased with this result. It is exactly what we set out to do and we have now secured a pension for a lady who had almost written it off, even though she was entitled to it.

“Divorce LifeLine is currently investigating hundreds of claims like this, relating to divorce lawyers’ negligence. Sadly we have encountered many clients like Julie who have been let down and have suffered a financial loss as a result.

“In cases such as this, we pursue the case on the client’s behalf. There is no need to contact the former spouse at all. Where we discover that a claim cannot be pursued, there is no fee to pay for any of the extensive investigative work carried out by Divorce LifeLine and our team of professionals.”

For further information please call Divorce LifeLine on: 01932 240 048 or please visit www.divorcelifeline.co.uk    


For press enquiries please contact: Julia Arnold at Elite Communications on telephone: 020 7097 8728 or email: julia.arnold@elite-communications.co.uk

Editor’s notes:

* A pension sharing annex is the administration form that is attached to a pension sharing order when a divorce settlement deems that the matrimonial pension is to be shared between the separating parties. Julie’s divorce solicitor had not attached this to her divorce paperwork, leaving her unable to claim the money she had been awarded.

**Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES) is a serious neurological condition affecting the nerves at the lower end of the spinal cord. It is caused by the severe compression of these nerves and can cause pain, altered reflexes, decreased strength and/or sensation, the loss of bowel and bladder function and sometimes paraplegia. Many symptoms are similar to those of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Divorce LifeLine estimates that up to half of the 1.5 million divorces that have taken place in the UK since divorce laws were changed in 2000 may have not had the matrimonial pension in their divorce settlement correctly valued by a financial expert. Many divorcees therefore may have lost thousands of pounds and could be entitled to reclaim these funds.

Since a major change in the law in December 2000, pension sharing has become allowed. This means a pension provider can be told that a percentage of the pension of their member can be allocated to the members’ former spouse.

Press Contact:
Julia Arnold
Elite Communications 
44 (0)20 7097 872


Divorce LifeLine


Telephone: 01932 240 048

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