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Divorce & Finances: What is a Clean Break?

Published on 18 December 2022 | Modified on 15 December 2022

Written by Lana Jones

A very common misconception is that once parties have divorced or dissolved their civil partnership, their financial ties to their spouse cease. This is not the case. The only way that an individual can correctly sever all financial ties from their spouse, and therefore protect themselves from any further financial claims, is to obtain a ‘financial order’.  To ensure there are no ongoing financial commitments this order must also include a ‘clean break’ clause.

If financial claims are not resolved alongside the divorce, parties are at risk of their spouse making a claim on any capital, income, pension or other assets that they have in the future. This can also include any funds that are received following separation including inheritance or even a lottery win. If parties do not wish to leave themselves open to the risk of these claims, it is advisable to commence the divorce proceedings and conclude the financial claims at the same time.

Negotiating a financial settlement is usually the most contentious issue upon divorce or dissolution. Once parties have reached an agreement, the financial order can be drafted by consent and submitted to the court for approval.

It is strongly recommended that you ask your solicitor to draft the financial consent order for you, and send it to the court for approval on your behalf. This is to ensure that the document is drafted to correctly bring any future financial claims to an end.

A financial settlement can deal with:-

  • any change in ownership of the family home or other property;
  • ordering a sale and dividing the proceeds of the sale of the home;
  • sharing of pensions;
  • maintenance for the parties, or children;
  • dividing capital including any savings or investments parties may have.

In certain cases, it may not be feasible to end the parties’ financial ties. The court will only implement a ‘clean break’ order if they believe it to be fair, taking into account the circumstances of the case.

It is imperative that individuals receive advice from a solicitor prior to agreeing a financial settlement, to ensure it is a fair settlement for both parties and are fully aware of the implications.

Getting expert legal advice from a specialist family solicitor can really help you to be clear about where you stand and to feel more in control of the situation.

Poole Alcock understand the difficulty and emotion involved with any legal matter related to divorce and the sharing of finances, you can be assured that your case will be treated with the sensitivity and care it requires.

Contact our family law specialists on 0800 470 0335 to arrange a consultation.

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