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What is a clean break divorce?

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The pronouncement of your decree absolute means that your marriage has now legally come to an end. You may assume that all ties – financial and otherwise – are now severed with your spouse and that a clean break divorce has automatically been carried out.

The reality is that receiving your decree absolute does not mean that your ex-spouse cannot make a financial claim against you in the future. The only way to prevent your spouse making future financial claims is through a clean break divorce.


What is a clean break divorce?

When people talk about a clean break divorce, they are usually referring to a type of court order known as a ‘clean break order’.

A clean break order will end your ex-spouse’s right to make a financial claim against you – and vice versa.

If both parties agree how their assets and debts should be split when they divorce, either between themselves or via other methods such as Collaborative Law or Mediation, the agreement can be made legally binding through a court order known as a ‘consent order’.

In order to be able to have your agreement made into a legally binding consent order, it must be fair to both parties.

A clean break clause can be included as part of a consent order.

If there are no assets to divide and both parties want to ensure that all financial ties are severed upon divorce, a clean break order alone may suffice.


What happens if there is no clean break divorce?

Without a consent order or a clean break order, a clean break divorce will not take place. Without a clean break divorce, your ex-spouse may be able to make a financial claim against you in the future.

In England and Wales, although a decree absolute is the legal end of your marriage, your financial obligations towards each other will continue, unless you have a court order which says otherwise.


How to get a clean break divorce

Once you have reached an agreement with your spouse about how to split your assets upon divorce, a solicitor will draft your financial application before submitting it to the court for approval.

If you are unable to reach an agreement with your spouse regarding your financial settlement, either between yourselves are through other methods, this does not mean that you will not be able to achieve a clean break divorce.

In this instance, you may need to go to court and ask a judge to decide how your finances will be divided. A judge may then order a clean break divorce, depending on your circumstances.


Is a clean break divorce right for me?

A clean break divorce is not suitable for everyone. If, for example, maintenance payments make up part of your financial settlement, a deferred clean break may be preferable. Also, if one spouse is just about to move into a job which pays much better, a clean break divorce may not be advised.

It’s always best to seek advice from a solicitor to find out whether a clean break divorce is right for your circumstances.


Other articles that may be of interest to you?

How long does a divorce take?

What is the divorce process?

When is decree absolute granted in a divorce?

Decree Nisi – What does this mean in a divorce?

What are the first steps to divorce?

Is a cheap divorce really possible?


How can our expert divorce solicitors help you with a clean break divorce

Our expert family law solicitors can help you with a range of legal issues relating to divorce, including:


Contact our expert divorce solicitors for advice on a clean break divorce

For more information call our divorce solicitors on 0845 862 5001 or email mail@austinkemp.co.uk.

Our expert family law solicitors offer a nationwide service. We have client meeting office facilities available, in order to have face-to-face client meetings / conferences as and when required in:

Leeds Office: St Andrew House, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5JW

Wakefield Office: Market Walk, Wakefield, WF1 1QR

Halifax Office: Old Lane, Halifax, HX3 5WP

Huddersfield Office: Northumberland Street Huddersfield, HD1 1RL

Coventry Office: Warwick Road, Coventry, CV1 2DY

Canary Wharf Office: 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5LB

Please contact us for more details.


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