Property – UK pension treated as financial resource…

family law casenotes

…but in personam orders made to divide future pension payments equally

In Hardrick [2022] FCWA 90 (29 April 2022), Duncanson J of the Family Court of Western Australia heard an application for property settlement after a 23-year relationship.

The parties had met and married in the United Kingdom (UK) before moving to Australia in 2004.

Single experts had been appointed in respect of the husband’s UK pension (Pension A), which provided for a pension upon the husband reaching retirement age (65) of £10,346 per annum ([51]).

A UK lawyer, as single expert, gave evidence that because neither party was domiciled in the UK, it was unlikely that a UK court would have jurisdiction to make a pension sharing order ([55]).

The court said (from [134]):

“ … The pension to which the husband is entitled [Pension A] … at normal retirement age of 65 years … is £10,346 per annum. … [T]hat is equivalent to $18,933 per annum. …


[135] The husband will be entitled to a UK State pension … which the wife estimated to be $325 per week. …

[136] The wife will be entitled to Pension B, the value of which she said was $50,139 as at January 2021, although the weekly amount is not known. The wife will also be entitled to a UK State pension … This is estimated to be £86 (or $156) per week … (…)

[156] … I consider that to the extent possible, Pension A and the other pensions should be divided equally. (…)

[165] … This Court … can make an order with respect to Pension A by making an order that the husband deal with it in a particular way. …”

The court ordered a 55:45 division overall in favour of the wife with in personam and injunctive orders, requiring the husband to pay 50% of future pension payments received by the husband, net of tax, to the wife.

Craig Nicol and Keleigh Robinson are co-editors of The Family Law Book. Both are accredited specialists in family law (Queensland and Victoria, respectively). The Family Law Book is a one-volume loose-leaf and online family law service (

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