CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Devon Life today CLICK HERE

Looking on the bright side of divorce

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 October 2013

Liz Allen of Stephens Scown


07519 647890

copyright Matt Austin.

Liz Allen of Stephens Scown PICTURE BY MATT AUSTIN 07519 647890 copyright Matt Austin.


Life has a way of creating great tragedy in our lives, often when we least expect it. However, this anguish, once the shock has lessened, can sometimes work out for the best.

One such heartbreak is often divorce, well known to be one of life’s most stressful events, which if well handled and well advised, can phoenix into a happier, financially stable and better future for all concerned.

In a recent survey undertaken by London’s Kingston University, 10,000 people in the UK, between the ages of 16 and 60, were questioned regularly over two decades, and asked to rate their happiness before and after major milestones in their lives. Interestingly women, five years post divorce, were very happy with their new found single state. Men, however, although happier, appear less contented post divorce.

Perhaps this isn’t too surprising as approximately 80% of women are the instigators of divorce petitions. Hence the resulting decree absolute is an opportunity to draw a line under one stage of life and start afresh.

The ability to pension share, brought in 12 years ago, provides a positive outlook in the form of financial security. Offering a clean break from their former spouse without the worry of income in the future, takes much of the stress away once the deed is done. Unfortunately, only 15% of divorcing couples take advantage of pension sharing and usually it is the wife who misses out on the opportunity of financial stability in later life.

The mistake that people make is that pensions do not appear to have a large value: the income can sound quite modest, especially if it is a future projection. However, a good occupational pension can be worth millions in capital terms and, given the relative ease with which a pension can be shared on divorce, it is very surprising that more people do not take advantage of this option.

An ever improving housing market also helps divorcing couples – indeed the divorce rate increases in line with the rise in house prices, no doubt as couples feel they will have a healthier pot of finances ensuring they will separate more wealthily.

The slightly more relaxed lending market seen at present also makes divorce easier, allowing one partner to buy the other out – not only from the marital home, but also from a jointly owned business. Buoyancy, however slight, within business provides confidence and the willingness to take on challenges which at other times may seem less appealing.

There is no denying that divorce, at any stage of life, can be a huge upheaval, but sound professional advice will go a long way towards helping you stride forward with confidence and come out the other side with belief in a positive and a more financially secure future.

Liz Allen is Devon’s top divorce solicitor. She is partner and head of the family law team at Stephens Scown LLP in Exeter. Liz is recognised as having one of the best family law teams in the South West, as rated by independent legal guides Chambers and Legal 500. She has also recently been named on the 2013 Citywealth Leaders List, an international guide to the most highly regarded figures in private wealth management. n

To contact Liz, please call 01392 210700, email or visit


More from Out & About

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Devon is particularly stunning at this time of year and so we’ve picked out 18 stunning pictures that encapsulate the county during the festive period

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

From cosy pubs galore to winter beach walks, there’s plenty to enjoy in Devon at Christmas. We list 19 reasons you should come visit us this December.

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Devon is a joy to explore with its beautiful beaches, pretty woodland and charming towns and villages. Made even more magical under a blanket of glistening frost, we pick 12 walks to blow away the cobwebs in the county this winter

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A South Devon walk along a wreck-rich coastline with SIMONE STANBROOK-BYRNE

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

In the latest of our 24-hour tours of Devon’s best locations, we head to Britain’s Ocean City

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

With breathtaking beaches, rolling countryside, stately homes and unique villages, it’s no wonder high-profile film productions flock to Devon - how well do you know the movies that have set up camp here however?

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Whether it’s on our beautiful beaches, in our magnificent moors or within our stunning stately homes, film productions are constantly setting up in Devon. Here are 16 that you might not know used the county as a filming location

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

From angry spirits to headless horses and ghoulish monks, Devon has more than a few supernatural stories to get your skin crawling. We have picked 11 haunted places in the county

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

October is the perfect time to discover the joys of Exmoor. Jennette Baxter of Visit Exmoor suggests five great ways to enjoy autumn on the moor

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Wild camping can be one of the best ways to escape the crowds for a night or two and lose yourself in the landscape - SOPHIE PAVELLE chooses her five favourite places to ‘wild-life’ camp in Devon

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

From sandy beaches and lighthouse-topped cliffs to views of the Jurassic Coast, the Devon coastline offers many perfect locations for a seaside walk. We pick 10 of the prettiest routes to take

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Take our quiz to find out how well you really know Devon

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

As the weather starts to warm up and the Devon countryside beckons, LIZZIE JANE of the National Trust in the South West offers plenty of walk ideas for you to try. Whether you want a relaxed Sunday stroll or a more strenuous hike, here are 10 walks across Devon (and beyond) to help you escape the crowds and head off the beaten track

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The South West Coast Path is celebrating 40 years by calling on people to help raise £40,000. To show their support, teams from Devon’s top tourist attractions are preparing to take to the trail. CHRISSY HARRIS finds out more

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search