I just want a clean break!
By Stephanie McAulay, Family Law
When getting divorced we often hear ‘I just want a clean break!’. Of course, that’s exactly what a Divorce will give you, finally putting an end to your matrimonial matters, however a clean break isn’t always as it seems.
Clean Break Consent Orders in Divorce
Although a ‘Decree Absolute’ is the legal document that ends your marriage, it does not prevent a party to the divorce making a future claim against the other’s income or assets e.g. if one party were to embark upon a new business venture or win the lottery in the future.
What is a clean break order?
The only way to prevent such a future claim is to obtain a clean break consent order. This ends/severs all financial commitments in relation to income, capital, pensions, property and claims against each other’s estates on death.
Even if there are no matrimonial finances, savings or shared assets, a clean break order is still necessary.
How do I get a clean break order?
It is a voluntary, formal agreement drawn up by solicitors that has been approved by the court.
The court has to be satisfied that the terms of the agreement are fair to each of the party i.e. each party entered into the agreement with full knowledge of the other’s financial position. Both parties to the marriage must provide full and frank disclosure of their assets, income and liabilities.
It is a small investment in terms of time and money that can give you peace of mind and financial security in the future. It is a relatively straight-forward process that does not normally require you to have to attend court.
What happens if my ex will not sign the clean break order?
Your options are as follows:
- Solicitor to solicitor negotiations
- Collaborative law
- Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing for a judge to decide.
The family department at Coles Solicitors have a wealth of experience in drafting the terms of a consent order and/or negotiating with other solicitors. We have collaborative family lawyers who seek to achieve a positive and proactive approach to Family Law issues by ensuring lines of communications are open and parties are willing to reach an amicable decision. Our family team are also happy to help should an application for a financial order have to be issued with the court and can attend the court hearing with you.
Call our friendly team on 0800 160 10 10