Q: My husband and I are getting divorced. The split is perfectly amicable and we have not needed to get solicitors involved. We are now ready to sort out the finances and a friend has advised us to enter into a Clean Break Order so that we will both be protected from any future claims. Can you explain what this means and if we really need to do it?
A: Not all cases are suitable for entering into a Clean Break Financial Order, or it may be necessary for the parties to remain financially linked until a clean break can be facilitated. If however you are not entitled to spousal maintenance from your ex-partner, entering into a Clean Break Financial Order is best because once financial settlement has been agreed you need to ensure neither of you has any future financial claim on the other. Without such an Order a financial tie would continue and if one of you had a change in circumstances, for example a large lottery win, your ex-spouse could make a financial claim against you.
If you have agreed terms of a financial settlement between you, or there are no assets to be distributed, it is relatively simple for a Solicitor to prepare a Consent Order in the terms agreed, which will eliminate any financial claim on each other in life and on each other’s estates upon death. Once the terms of the Order have been entered and approved by both parties the Order can be signed and submitted to the Court along with a Statement of Information Form containing full details of both your financial positions and a £50 fee. You will not need to attend the Court Hearing. Once the Order has been approved and sealed by the Court it is legally binding and dismisses all future financial claims against each other.