Many people think that when they apply for a divorce, the Court will also sort out all the other marriage issues such as financial matters and children, but in England & Wales this is not the case. The divorce process simply ends the marriage, it does not deal with the rest.
When you get a divorce, it is very important to think about what is to happen to your matrimonial assets and to sort out any financial matters between you and your former spouse and then have this confirmed in a Court Order.
Often people feel this is not necessary for them, particularly if there were no joint assets or the value of any assets is low. However, if there is no Court Order made in relation to finances, at any point in the future, your former spouse could make a claim for a Financial Order against you.
This can be a claim against your property or money in your bank accounts or against your income or pension. For example, if you were to win the lottery, inherit some money or earn a higher income, your former spouse could make a claim for a share of this, regardless of how much time has passed since the divorce was finalised.
What is a Clean Break Order?
A Clean Break Order is a type of Financial Order that essentially ends any financial ties between you and your former spouse on divorce. This is dealt with separately to the divorce proceedings and the purpose of the Court Order is to confirm the agreement you have reached with your former spouse in relation to finances following divorce; and also to stop your former spouse from making a claim against you in the future.
Our Divorce Solicitors can provide a fixed fee Clean Break Order for £400 +VAT (£480) if your financial situation is not complicated, click here for details.
What are the Benefits of a Clean Break Order?
A Clean Break Order not only makes the agreement reached between you and your former spouse legally binding, which means the Court can enforce it if your spouse does not do what they have agreed to do, it also protects you and your financial assets in the future.
How to Get a Clean Break Order?
First you would need to reach an agreement with your former spouse about your matrimonial finances. There are different ways of doing this. Some couples are able to agree between themselves what is to happen to all of the assets, whereas others need some help with this and use a mediation service.
If couples are unable to reach an agreement on their own, negotiations can take place between Solicitors, with offers being made until an agreement is achieved.
However the financial agreement is reached, this will then be put into a draft Clean Break Order and sent to the Court for approval by a Judge. In most cases you would not have to go to Court for the Order to be approved, as you have both confirmed to the Court that you consent to the agreement contained in the Order.
If you are unable to reach an agreement with your former spouse, either one of you can apply to the Court for a Financial Order, which would mean that the Court would eventually decide on how the assets were to be divided, and once that decision is made by the Court both you and your ex must abide by it.
A Clean Break Order is Final
Once the Court has made the Clean Break Order, this will be final and it would not be possible for either of you to make any further claims or have the terms of the Order altered, except in very exceptional circumstances.
At Co-op Legal Services our Divorce Solicitors are experts in dealing with uncooperative spouses. In one of our recent divorce cases, we represented a wife whose husband was uncooperative in divorce and the Case went to Court.
This resulted in the wife being awarded £1,000 a month, being allowed to sell the family home, to buy a new home for herself and the children, and the husband paid the legal costs.