Clean-Break Orders in Matrimonial Proceedings

July 10, 2019, By

The pronouncement of decree absolute in divorce proceedings does not deal with the financial aspects of a relationship. This means that, unless the parties obtain a clean-break order, it is possible for either party to make future financial claims against the other’s income or assets.

A clean-break consent order is a voluntary financial agreement which divorcing couples enter in order to sever their financial ties.

A clean-break order should be drafted by a qualified solicitor and must be sent to the court for a Judge to approve. If a clean-break consent order is not obtained through the court then either party, at any point in the future, could return to the court and make a financial claim against the other.

There is often confusion surrounding the difference between a clean-break order and a consent order. Essentially a consent order is drafted for couples that have assets and finances to divide, such as property or pensions. Within a consent order, you can include suitable wording to ensure that no further claims can be made. A clean-break order is suitable for couples who would like to end their mutual financial obligations towards one another.

A clean-break order may not always be an appropriate option for divorcing couples. For example, if there is a huge disparity in the earning capacities of each party and there are not enough capital assets to allow for this imbalance to be addressed, a clean-break order may be inappropriate. This is because financial independence may not be able to be achieved, as one party may need to pay spousal maintenance to the other.

It is always advisable to consult a family law solicitor when getting a divorce, so that you can ensure that you secure a financial settlement that is suitable for you. Contact our specialist team to arrange a fixed fee initial appointment and discuss whether a clean-break order is suitable and necessary for you to obtain.