How to Get a Divorce Clean Break Order

21 April 2017

If you are getting a divorce in England or Wales, in order to ensure that the financial ties between you and your ex are severed, you will need to apply to the Court for a Clean Break Order or a Consent Order.

What is a Clean Break Order?

A Clean Break Order is a type of Court Order that can be granted after a divorce. It cuts the financial ties between you and your ex, meaning you no longer have to provide him/her with financial support. It also means that neither of you can claim money from the other in the future.

Often people think that once the Decree Absolute has been issued, that it’s all over. However, it’s not quite as clear-cut as that. It’s true that you will no longer be married and you will both be free to marry other people. But according to the law in England & Wales, you still have a financial obligation to each other. This would entitle either of you to claim further financial provision from the other at any point in the future; even if you have been divorced for decades.

A Clean Break Order allows you to officially end the financial commitments between you.

Who Should Get a Clean Break Order?

Clean Break Orders are for anyone in England & Wales:

  1. Going through a divorce or civil partnership dissolution
  2. Who don’t have any financial assets to divide

If you do have financial assets to share out between you, you will be better off getting a Consent Order. This allows you to make the terms of your Financial Settlement legally binding and, like a Clean Break Order, cuts the financial ties between you.

However, if there are no financial assets in your divorce that need to be divided, a Clean Break Order is the best option to protect your financial position in the future.

Lots of divorcing couples have a false sense of security, as they think that because there are no assets to split, there is no need for a Court Order. What’s the point of going to the Court if you are simply going your separate ways, with no outstanding issues to resolve, or money to argue over? It’s also an additional expense that some people weigh up and consider unnecessary.

However, this could be a false economy, as the consequences of not getting a Clean Break Order can be devastating. For example, what if you come into an inheritance in the future? If so, your ex would legally be entitled to a share. Similarly, you might become successful or win the lottery. Again, your ex would legally be entitled to make a claim on your income.

So while a Clean Break Order may seem over-cautious to some people getting a divorce, it’s the only way to prevent your ex claiming money from you in the future. This could save you a considerable amount of time and money.

How to Get a Divorce Clean Break Order

To get a Clean Break Order for your divorce, all you need to do is ask a Divorce Lawyer to prepare the Clean Break Order and send it to the Court for approval. If a Judge believes the clean break to be fair, the Clean Break Order will be granted, and the legal and financial ties between you and your ex-spouse will be over.

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