What Is a Clean Break Order & Do I Need One After My Divorce?
A clean break order is a type of financial settlement agreed by both parties to a divorce and is used to essentially draw 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.
What is the purpose of a clean break order?
Many people believe that by getting a divorce they can move on with their lives and be financially separate from their ex-spouse without needing to do anything further.
This is, however, untrue unless both parties have agreed to a financial order.
Getting divorced doesn’t end your financial commitments to one another. The only way you can sever all financial ties and prevent future financial claims following a divorce is to obtain a clean break order or financial consent order.
Couples that wish to have a quick and easy divorce can often overlook this step, however, the importance of a clean break order cannot be overstated.
The purpose of a clean break is to show the court that both parties are able to live financially separately from one another without either party becoming destitute and that neither party wishes to make financial claims against the other in the future.
If you wish to protect any future wealth you inherit or generate through a range of means then it’s essential you deal with the financial aspect of divorce as well.
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.
Dealing with your finances now can save you from ending up in court years down the line, which can cost thousands, or in some cases as the following example highlights, millions!
Real-life Case of 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 getting a clean break order necessary?
If you have been in a short marriage and you don’t jointly own assets such as property, then it can be understandable to think that by getting a divorce you are finished.
Neither party has built up considerable savings, pensions, or assets and both parties are able to live financially separately from one another after the divorce.
So, is it necessary to obtain a clean break from the court?
Even married couples that have no joint assets or children together must apply to the court to end their financial ties through a clean break if they wish to prevent future financial claims.
There is no other way in England and Wales to ensure that neither party can submit a claim in the future.
You don’t need to become extremely wealthy for a spouse to submit a claim, for example, a new business you start or property you buy after the divorce could highlight a disparity in wealth that an ex-partner may wish to claim against.
Do you want to risk having your ex-spouse coming back years later and claiming 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.
What is the difference between a clean break order and a financial order?
Whilst they both have similar uses (legally severing all financial ties following a divorce) they are used in different circumstances. So, a clean break is different from a financial order.
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 achieve a clean break if any jointly-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 then a clean break is recommended.
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. Consent orders 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
So, to summarise, a clean break is suitable for short marriages where a financial settlement isn’t required and both parties are able to live financially separately from each other.
A financial order is required when there are assets and/or ongoing payments to a former spouse and having a ‘clean break’ isn’t possible due to the nature of the financial split.
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.
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. What to do if your ex-partner won’t sign a clean break?
- 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 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.
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.
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!