Clean break divorce

Divorcing parties sometimes have no matrimonial finances to settle as the marriage has been short or they have not had the opportunity to build up any assets.

In some circumstances both parties may have similar levels of income or simply do not want to claim maintenance from the other and would rather a clean break and go their separate ways.

In these types of cases it is prudent to enter into a clean break order. This formal document is filed at Court as part of the divorce process. It is signed by both parties and their legal representatives and is therefore binding.

If you need experienced family lawyers in London to explore the possibility of seeking a clean break divorce settlement, please do get in contact.

Potential advantages of a clean break

The most important component of a clean break consent order is the fact that it dismisses all future claims against each other, following the divorce.

Without this, either party (so long as they have not remarried), could make an application to Court for financial settlement or relief despite having been divorced for some time.

An amicable divorce is of course preferable and therefore whilst matters are non-contentious it is important to draw a line under each and every aspect of the marriage legally.

‘It is a common misconception that getting a divorce terminates everything between the parties. This is incorrect.

Informal agreements on finances – beware!

I conducted a case whereby the parties during divorce agreed to one of them keeping the house and the other the family business. The assets were split and the formal transfers were completed.

At the time, one party thought it would be a good idea to write the terms of the agreement down, but the other thought it unnecessary and so no formal agreement was recorded. Some five years later when financial circumstances had drastically changed for one of them, an application to court was made. The normal court process ensued, despite attempts to rely on the previous agreement, and disclosure based on current assets, income and needs was exchanged. This would have been avoided had the terms of the original settlement been formalised and sealed by the Court.

Unless there are compelling reasons, such as mistake, non-disclosure or a major supervening event, such orders cannot be revisited or changed. Therefore certainty and protection is provided for by having a clean break properly documented by divorce lawyers and in a formal court order. This also potentially saves vast costs in the future.

For advice on obtaining a clean break or in relation to the division of finances on divorce, please contact our expert family lawyers.

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