Clean break orders in divorce – Why are they important?
LAST UPDATED ON OCTOBER 4TH, 2019
A clean break order is a type of court order that is made by a divorcing couple stating how they will separate assets and finances.
Obtaining a clean break as part of your financial order will formally sever all financial ties and also prevents any future claims being made by either party, even years later down the line.
In this article, we outline the dangers of not obtaining a clean break order and explanations as to why they are so important in divorce and separation.
What is a clean break order in divorce?
A clean break in divorce happens by obtaining a court order whereby divorcing parties agree on how they will separate their finances and assets such as property and pensions.
Obtaining this type of legally binding court order is the only way to prevent further and future claims in the future.
An example of a basic clean break order would involve the matrimonial property being sold and the pensions shared so that both parties receive a fair division of assets within the marriage.
Without obtaining a financial court order after divorce stipulating these terms, you will be open to financial claims against you in the future.
There have been many high-profile cases in the news regarding spouse’s having to pay the other party hefty sums of money years after the divorce, most notably the case of Nigel Page.
Although these circumstances are rare, it applies to everyday life, for example. Should you come into any inheritance or your circumstances change at work and become wealthier, your spouse may be entitled to claim against you.
Before getting into the specifics of financial agreements and clean breaks, we wanted to put together a checklist to make sure you are ready to think about arranging a financial order.
If you and your spouse aren’t amicable and calmly discussing your finances isn’t an option then you should find a solicitor or mediator to help you come to a fair resolution without needing to speak with your ex-partner.
What assets typically go into a clean break order?
A clean break order typically covers the division of the matrimonial home, any assets within the marriage, maintenance and pensions. A clean break order can deal with things such as;
- Lump sums
- Business assets
- Property (the division of the matrimonial home)
- Pension sharing (how will pensions be divided, if at all)
- Any savings you have within the marriage
- Overseas property or money
Amicably agreeing upon a fair financial settlement without involving solicitors will dramatically reduce the cost of a clean break, but if there are substantial assets involved it’s best to get in touch with us to discuss the details first.
If you were to visit your local high-street solicitors, you would be quoted between £750-£1,500 for a basic clean break order to be drafted.
This is completely unnecessary, especially if you have already agreed to the terms of your split.
Quicke Divorce can help you for as little as £199.
You need to bear in mind that if the judge making the order on your clean break deems the agreement to be unfair, they can ask you for further information on how you came to this arrangement or give directions on making a fair settlement.
For any further information or advice please call us for a free consultation on 01793 384 032.
What happens if your ex-spouse won’t sign?
If your ex-spouse refuses to sign a clean break order or you are both struggling to come to an agreement, do not worry, there are various options available.
Here are some of your options:
- Collaborative Law
- solicitor to solicitor negotiation
- Ancillary relief order
Each option comes with their own advantages and disadvantages. What works for some couples doesn’t for others.
Consent orders & Clean breaks – What is the difference?
What is the difference between a consent order and a clean break order is the most common question we receive from clients regarding finances.
Financial orders can be a minefield, especially with all of the different types of agreement and orders you can obtain. Hopefully, this explanation will clear it up for you.
A consent order is an application to the court, which states how you will split marital assets and finances. By obtaining a consent order, you are saying that you both agree to make a clean break and neither party will make any further claims on each other’s finances in the future.
A clean break order is a clause that means that neither party can return to court years later and re-negotiate a new agreement, hence the term “clean break”.
Clean break orders and children – what are the rules?
There can never be a clean break where children are concerned and either parent can still claim for financial provision for their children after the divorce if a party considers the child has needs that have not been met.
The parties can either have the child maintenance set out in a court order, come to their own arrangement or apply to the Child Support Agency to deal with it for them if they cannot agree or the paying party stops paying.
Financial orders in divorce
Other financial orders can also be made in a divorce, which would mean there is not a clean break until certain things have been done. Here are some examples where a clean break order would not be appropriate;
- Where one party remains in the family home
- Where maintenance is paid to one party after the divorce, usually for a defined period
Consent orders in a divorce
When the parties have either agreed between them or by negotiation through solicitors or mediators, they are able to lodge an agreed financial order with the court.
This is commonly known as a consent order, which is the most common type of financial order in a divorce.
What happens if you do not obtain a clean break order?
Without a clean break consent order, your ex-spouse could go back to court several years later and ask for more money from you if, for example, you receive money through inheritance, or win the lottery.
There have been several cases over the years where a clean break consent order was needed some involving EuroMillions winners & successful business owners having to give a large portion of the new income to their ex-spouse due to them not obtaining a clean break consent order.
How can Quicke Divorce help with a clean break order?
We are able to advise you on the type of financial order you will need and have any settlement you have reached turned into a legally binding court order.
Our divorce solicitors will be able to draft the order and all necessary forms you will need to be able to file your financial order by consent.
Our most popular service is a divorce and financial order service which costs just £269 incl vat + court filing fees.
Please call us on 01793 384 032 and speak to one of our experienced team about your situation and how we can help you.
Quicke Divorce has drafted over 50,000 clean break orders since 1999, helping you save hundreds on the cost of your financial agreement.
Find The Right Financial Order For You
Although a consent order is not required it’s highly recommended. We offer a variety of financial consent orders to suit all situations.