What is a Clean Break Order?

Unfortunately, divorces are complicated. There are several different forms that you’ll need to fill-out when you make the legal separation, but how you handle the situation can impact yours, and your children’s, future.

Clean break orders allow you to become financially independent after a divorce. You’ll no longer be seen as reliant on your ex-spouse, and you may not receive any sort of spousal maintenance if you use this type of financial settlement.

In this guide, we’ve explained what clean break orders are, the advantages of having one, and how to get the order as part of your divorce financial settlement clean break:

What’s included in the agreement?

As we mentioned earlier, clean break orders mean that you’ll no longer be financially dependent on your spouse after a divorce. They’re agreed by both parties throughout the divorce process, and protects both people against the event of claiming spousal support in future.

Clean break consent orders are obtained by the Court and clearly outline how the couple’s finances will be arranged, once the divorce has been finalised and they’re living separately.

They can include:

  • The division of property shared (also referred to as the ‘matrimonial home’)
  • How pensions will be arranged
  • The split of any savings that you had together
  • If any lump sums will be paid
  • The handling of property or money kept overseas

One of the most common types of clean break orders is a 50/50 split of the matrimonial home. This way, the money gained when the property has been sold will be split equally, and neither spouse will be entitled to more than 50% of the profit.

However, this type of clean break order may vary, depending on the circumstances. In the event of a divorce due to domestic abuse or unreasonable behaviour, 50% may not be seen as ‘fair’.

Do I need a clean break after divorce?

The most notable benefit of using this type of financial settlement is that you’ll never be open to any financial claims being made against you, by your ex-spouse, in years to come. This is because the monetary split has already been decided and agreed by both parties.

The dangers of not having one

Failing to get a clean break after divorce may lead to troubles further down the line. Spouses can begin to claim financial support from you, and there have been many high-profile cases whereby spouses have had to pay thousands of pounds, years after the divorce happened. Many of these could’ve been avoided by signing a clean break order after divorce.

The most notable example of this was the Nigel Page case. Back in 2010, he won £56 million from the Euromillions jackpot. However, because he did not sign a clean break order after his divorce ten years ago, his wife appealed to the Court that she was entitled to a share – and took £2 million of his winnings.

Despite these circumstances being rare, ex-spouses may still be able to claim for the following things, should you become wealthier after a separation:

  • Inheritance
  • Change of work
  • Lottery winnings

Having a clean break order prevents your ex-spouse from being entitled to make a claim for a financial share.

How to get a clean break order

In order to get a clean break consent order, both yourself and your spouse will need to sign a legal document that details the division of everything that you shared throughout the marriage.

The best way to do this is by using a professional lawyer. They will be able to advise on how the document will hold-up in Court, and the chances of it being approved by a Judge.

To begin working on a clean break order that will protect both yourself and your ex-partner after a divorce, contact our team today. We have family law solicitors in York, Oldham, Manchester, Harrogate and London, plus offer convenient Skype appointments to discuss your financial settlement.

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