Personal Finance, Cohabitation | Warns against saving trap:

Only one measure can secure a self-saving pension in the event of divorce.

– It is a risk to trust that you will agree, because divorces can be ugly, says Derya Incedursun, consumer economist and lawyer at Nordea.

As a general rule, a saved-up pension is excluded in the event of a divorce settlement. However, this only applies to pensions saved by the employer and through the National Insurance Scheme, as well as IPS.

If, on the other hand, you have private fund savings, and set aside money regularly in funds to have better advice as a pensioner, it is important to be aware of one thing:

– Everything you have saved in funds, in a savings account and other values ​​you have earned in your marriage, minus debt, must as a general rule be divided in two in the event of divorce, says Cecilie Tvetenstrand, consumer economist at Storebrand.

Spare trap many are not aware of

– Many have burned themselves on this, points out Tvetenstrand.

If you are saving for retirement yourself, and have thought that you have secured it, you may suddenly have to share the money with your spouse.

Not everyone is aware of this saving trap, and Tvetenstrand does not think many people think about it, or believe that there is a need to do anything to secure themselves against this.

– When you are together, you do not plan to go apart. It can be difficult to have that conversation, but it is a good idea to have a proper chat while you are friends and everything is fine, she says.

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One in ten has a marriage pact

Because it is possible to prevent everything you have saved up from being shared with the divorced spouse.

– A marriage pact allows you to secure yourself. You can agree on what should not be shared in the event of a breach, for example everything you save in funds, says Tvetenstrand.

Only one in ten has signed a marriage pact, according to a survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Storebrand in September 2021. There were 1007 respondents, and the sample is weighted according to Norway’s population (4.28 million Norwegians), by gender, age and region.

– I recommend getting a lawyer to explain what it means to sign such an agreement, if your partner proposes a marriage pact, says Incedursun.

If something, such as fund savings, is excluded from equal sharing in the event of divorce, it is called separate ownership.

– I think you should be a little aware of this, and be careful about signing a marriage pact on separate property – especially if you are the one who takes care of children and the home. You do not know what consequences it can have for you if there is a divorce in 15-20 years, she says.

Tvetenstrand encourages you to take care so that you meet the requirements of a marriage pact.

– Both must be present when it is signed, together with two witnesses who sign. In addition, it should be registered in the Marriage Register in the Brønnøysund Register, she says.

The marriage contract can be set aside

The reason why everything should be divided in two in the event of a divorce is that spouses have a maintenance responsibility for each other, says Tvetenstrand.

– The Marriage Act therefore has a rule that states that the courts can set aside a marriage pact in whole or in part if it may seem unreasonable to one of the parties, she points out.

Incedursun in Nordea, who is a lawyer, points out that there must be circumstances that turn out to be very unfair for a marriage pact to be set aside.

– It may be that you have been married for 30 years and one party has been at home and looked after common houses and children while the other has worked to earn a fortune, she says.

– But it will be a discretionary assessment of the law, she points out.

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Whether one party works part-time or does not work for a period of time, to take care of the home and children, it may be especially wise to have private ownership of private fund savings from self-saved funds, Incedursun believes.

– If you have a savings scheme that allows the person who goes home for compensation for lost pension savings through work, it is right that the spouse gets it as separate property, she says.

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May have to split the company in two

It is not just pension savings in funds that can be a savings trap in the marriage – if you do not have a marriage pact. The same problem will arise if you start a limited company while you are married.

– If you spend many years building a company, you must not forget that the value of the company is part of what is to be shared between the spouses, warns Tvetenstrand.

– If this company is to be kept out when values ​​and money are to be shared in the event of a divorce, it is also important to look at the whole, she continues.

She points out that if one party has contributed to taking responsibility for the family and the home while the other has built up a company, he or she should be compensated for it.

Incedursun also believes that one should be careful about agreeing that one party should have separate ownership of a limited company he or she establishes during the marriage.

– I do not want to make a recommendation about what people should do, and it depends on the situation. But I probably would not have signed such a contract, she says.

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Must have documentation

A marriage contract can be entered into before the marriage or after one has married. But note that the law indirectly states that by entering into marriage, you accept that everything you gain from values ​​during the marriage, becomes a common division.

Therefore, it can be smart to think about whether you should sign a marriage contract before you get married.

All you bring into your marriage are biases. This also applies to the return on fund savings or shares you brought with you into the marriage. But there is one important detail you need to pay attention to:

– In the event of a divorce, you must be able to document what you brought with you into the marriage, says Incedursun.

In many cases it can be problematic. Let’s say you buy a cabin or a boat while you are married, but use the money you had in your marriage. If you are divorced, you must document that you have used the skewed funds for these purchases.

– It is important to be aware that the skewed division rule is a pure value rule. That is, it is the net value you can hold back and not the thing itself, says Incedursun.

Misalignment funds are also inheritance you receive while you are married and gifts you receive from someone other than your spouse. Incedursun says that the unequal distribution funds can be turned into separate property if a marriage pact is created.

Debt is deducted

Debt is deducted before all of the assets that are jointly owned are to be distributed in the event of a divorce.

Let’s say it’s a man and a woman who are going to divorce. The man has 300,000 kroner in wealth, but 100,000 kroner in debt, while the lady has 500,000 kroner in wealth and no debt.

The man can then keep 100,000 kroner for his debt, and give 200,000 kroner to the joint fund. The lady must give everything. In total, there is 700,000 kroner in the joint fund, which will then be split in two. Both receive 350,000 kroner each.

The spouses’ total assets must in principle be divided equally after a deduction has been made for debt, Incedursun states.

– If the spouses only have property that is joint property, and not separate property and unequal division funds, the rules will be uncomplicated. Then each of them can make a full deduction for their debt, and it is only the net of what each of the spouses owns that is to be shared, she says.

If the debt is related to separate property or unequal division funds, the debt can as a general rule not be deducted from the part of the spouse’s joint property that is subject to division. Then the debt will be deducted from the separate funds and the unequal distribution funds as far as possible.

Incedursun points out that there are complicated rules, and several details that are important when distributing values ​​during a divorce. A lawyer can help with this.

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