Do I Need a Clean Break Order Following My Divorce?

A clean break order is used following a divorce and essentially draws a line in the sand regarding all financial commitments.

Without such an order from the court, either spouse is entitled to claim against the other in the future.

In this simplified guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about getting a clean break divorce and why all couples should seek to obtain one alongside their divorce.

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    Why is it important to get a clean break?

    The decree absolute legally ends your marriage and brings divorce proceedings to a conclusion, however, it doesn’t end your financial commitments to one another. The only way you sever all financial ties following a divorce is to obtain a clean break order or consent order.

    Lawyers’ fees can be expensive, which is often why couples looking for a low-cost divorce can see this as an unnecessary step, however, the importance of a clean break order cannot be overstated.

    Dealing with your finances now can save you from ending up in court years down the line, which will cost you a lot more!

    If there is no clean break and you buy a property in the future, build up a sizeable pension or savings pot, inherit any money or assets or win the lottery then your ex can make claims against these.

    Our online clean break service is just £299 and involves our solicitors drafting the legal document for you, exactly as a local solicitor would do for you.

    Many couples don’t understand the need for a clean and will skip this important step in divorce proceedings.

    We want to highlight the importance of a clean break in divorce by showing you a real-life case from many years ago where an ex-wife of 10 years successfully claimed over £2m.

    Nigel Page

    Nigel Page separated from his wife with no joint assets. They decided to leave obtaining a clean break from the court and went their separate ways whilst sharing child custody. In 2010, Nigel won £56m on the EuroMillions.

    He had been divorced for over a decade when his ex-wife claimed against his new fortune and won over £2m.

    Although lottery wins are rare, improving your financial position through savings, properties, pensions, and/or inheritances for example aren’t, which can be claimed against in the future.

    Is a clean break order still necessary when there are no joint assets?

    We often hear this from our clients; why do we need to do anything if we have no joint assets or money to separate?

    However, divorce law in England & Wales requires you to apply to the court to end your financial ties, regardless of your wealth or financial situation.

    As the case above highlights; they had no wealth to divide at the time of divorce, but subsequently, it was built up by Mr. Page through a lottery win. If a clean break order was agreed upon and signed, his former spouse would have no ability to claim.

    If you are going through a divorce from a short childless marriage with no assets to share, it’s still important to put a line in the sand from a legal perspective by having a judge grant a court order.

    Do you want to risk having your ex-spouse come back years later and claim against your wealth? If you would prefer to end your marriage with peace of mind over your finances, then view our Clean Break Order Service for £299.

    There are no time limits for applying for a clean break, which means that unless your ex-husband or wife remarries, they can file a claim years after the divorce.

    Clean Break vs Consent Order – Are They The Same Thing?

    The short and simple answer is no. Whilst they both have similar uses (legally severing all financial ties following a divorce) they are used in different circumstances.

    Let’s look at the differences between a clean break order and financial consent order.

    Clean Break Order

    If you’re able to live financially independently after a divorce, ie. leave the marriage in the same position as you entered it, then a clean break should be obtained. This usually applies to couples that have had a short marriage of 1-5 years.

    Unlike financial consent orders, there are limitations to obtaining a clean break order in divorce.

    A couple can only achieve a clean break if any held assets have already been divided, if there are no joint assets to split or ongoing maintenance payments to make towards your spouse or children.

    Consent Order

    When you have been married for some time, it’s common to have built up joint assets, such as a family home, pensions, and savings.

    These assets will need to be divided equally between the parties upon divorce. The consent order will document to the court how you intend to split the assets and help to ensure that the agreement you’ve reached is carried out, for example:

    • Maintenance payments are made on time for the duration of the agreed time
    • A lump-sum payment is made from the sale of the family home
    • A lump-sum payment is made from the built-up savings
    • A spouse is paid a proportion of their ex-partners pension

    Is my situation suitable for a clean break divorce?

    A clean break order can only be put in place when all parts of your held assets you built up during marriage can be separated, e.g property, savings, debts, etc.

    Here are two very different examples of typical situations we see from divorcing couples:

    1) Cases suitable for a clean break

    Tom and Sarah were married for two years and lived in a rented flat for the duration of their marriage. They shared a savings account with £3000 in it at the time of separation. They shared this 50/50 and closed the account down. Neither party had any debts to pay off and they did not have any children.

    Tom and Sarah agreed to a clean break so that they could move on with their lives without worrying about the potential of claims being made against them in the future.

    The key to obtaining a clean break is the fact that you have no on-going assets to split, for example, the sale and division of a property, the payment of child/spousal maintenance, etc.

    2) Cases that are unsuitable for a clean break

    Terry and Margaret were married for 10 years and lived in a property that was jointly owned. They have 3 children under the age of 10. Margaret has been a full-time stay-at-home mum whilst Terry has a professional job with a private pension. They had joint savings worth £12000.

    Due to the nature of longer marriages, it’s very difficult to achieve a clean break as there needs to be a range of ongoing payments to ensure a fair division of held assets is reached, e.g. maintenance and the division of pensions and/or property.

    In these types of cases, it’s important that you agree to a financial agreement and have it drafted by a solicitor into a consent order.

    The financial consent order explains to the court how you intend to divide all of your money and assets.

    How Much Does a Clean Break Order Cost?

    Our Clean Break Order Service costs £299 fixed-fee including VAT. You must make a court fee payment of £50 when filing a court order.

    This service is ideal for couples that don’t have a complex financial situation, for example:

    • You and your ex have already divided any assets.
    • You and your spouse do not have any joint asset to divide.
    • You do not wish to share any pensions between you.
    • There are no maintenance or lump sums required.

    Things To Know About Clean Break Orders

    • Do both parties have to agree to a clean break? Yes, both parties must agree to a clean break. If you cannot agree between you then you may need the help of the courts.
    • Can you get a clean break before or after a divorce? You can file for a clean break at the decree nisi stage of divorce proceedings. You can also file after the decree absolute has been granted, however, this can come with complications so it’s recommended to file at the same time as your divorce.
    • Can you get a clean break order online? Yes, our qualified solicitors can professionally draft you a clean break order within 31-working days for just £299 fixed-fee.

    How To Get a Clean Break Without Spending Thousands…

    The good news is that you don’t need thousands to spend to achieve a Clean Break.

    We have a Clean Break Order Service for £299. Our service helps people obtain a clean break without spending a fortune.

    Our solicitors will prepare a fully drafted court document for you, ready to be signed.

    Both parties need to sign the agreement and we will handle the rest for you. It is that simple to do and costs less than the average UK resident spends on coffee a year.

    You have another option of course, which is to instruct a local solicitors firm. Be prepared for when you receive a quote as it will be anywhere from 5/6 times more than our service.

    You will also need to visit their offices to provide them with your agreement and basic information.

    With our service, everything is done online and via email.

    clean break order online

    View Our Clean Break Order Service for £299

    You don’t need to spend thousands hiring local solicitors if you have agreed to obtain a clean break following a divorce. We provide a fixed-fee service to help you secure your finances without breaking the bank on solicitors fees!

    Clean Break Order – £299

    This post was written by Mark Keenan. Editor of Divorce-Online and Managing Director of Online Legal Services Ltd. Mark has been writing about divorce and related subjects for over 20+ years and is an expert in legal marketing.

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