A leading regional law firm offers a 10 per cent fee discount to members of the Armed Forces.
Goughs, recognised in legal directories Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500, serves clients across the UK and around the world, with seven offices in the military county of Wiltshire.
Since 2015, the firm has been signatories to the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant, and holds the MOD’s Employer Recognition Scheme award.
Goughs offers a free initial consultation on all legal matters as well as the 10 per cent fee discount to members of the Armed Forces community.
The firm also has experience and expertise in helping Service families with all kinds of legal issues of importance to them – click here for further details.
Family Law For Military Personnel
Just one example of the firm's expertise is family law, particularly on marriage breakdown.
Goughs is used to advising on such issues as changes to PStat Cats and the Continuity of Education Allowance – and, of course, pensions on divorce.
A Forces pension may be the most valuable family asset, with total value often running to several hundred thousand pounds or even in excess of £1m.
Getting specialist advice in this area if you’re facing marital difficulties is vital to help you understand the rights your spouse may have to share in your pension – and, crucially, how you can secure the most favourable possible outcome should the worst happen.
One client whose pension we successfully preserved was Laura, a senior RN commander with many years’ service.
Her pension was valued at nearly £1m – and in fact its value in real terms was even higher, as her projected benefits considerably exceeded any realistic return available on the open market from a similar sum invested in a private pension.
Laura and her husband had lived together for ten years.
The law considers that a fairly long marriage – certainly long enough for her husband to expect a significant share in her pension.
Furthermore, the law is becoming less keen on sharing pensions based on the years during which a couple were together, and is focusing much more on the couple’s income needs in later life.
Such needs are likely to be very similar, with neither spouse having any dependants in retirement.
That raises the likelihood of their pension needs being considered the same – and opens the door to the possibility of valuable pension benefits being equally shared.
Protecting A Forces Pension On Divorce
So how, in Laura’s case, did Goughs manage not only to avoid losing half her pension, but to preserve it all intact?
The firm successfully pursued several points in negotiation.
It helped that her husband’s own pension had a value exceeding £250,000, but clearly that was equivalent to only a small percentage of her pension even before considering how a Forces pension punches above its weight in terms of benefits.
Goughs showed that the couple had kept their financial arrangements separate – each paying equal sums into a joint account every month to cover bills – and argued that this justified maintaining a separate approach to the resolution of finances on divorce, including pensions.
The firm advised Laura that she should be amenable to compromising on other issues, notably the equity in their jointly owned house, which she was – but the settlement involved only a small compromise on her part there.
Overall, the outcome was a very happy one for her.
Above all, Goughs work with clients to understand what really matters to them, explore their options, and strive to help them achieve their goals wherever possible, while always giving them realistic advice about the outcome.
Goughs will be delighted to help you.