What is a clean break order?

A clean break order deals with the financial issues arising from divorce. Once made by the Court, a clean break order prevents a husband and wife who are divorcing or who have divorced from making any more financial claims against the other – in terms of income, capital or both.

A clean break order can prevent, for example, a husband arguing that he is entitled to more money from the family home that has increased in value, even though the property has been transferred to his ex-wife, or a wife arguing that she wants a share of her ex-husband’s income at a later stage.

There are two types of clean break:

  • An order which prevents further claims against income (maintenance).
  • An order which prevents further claims against capital, pensions and property.

The above two types of order are often combined in the same clean break order.

A clean break order can be made in one of two ways:

  • A couple who are divorcing reach an agreement. A draft clean break order, a form recording their financial position at the time the agreement was reached (D81 statement of information) and Form A, together with the Court fee, are sent to the Judge after Decree Nisi for approval.
  • A couple have a dispute about financial issues arising from divorce and cannot reach an agreement. Either party can apply to the Court for the assistance of a Judge in resolving the dispute. If no agreement can be reached with the help of the Judge at a negotiation hearing (Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing), the Judge will make a final clean break order.

The Court system advises that those seeking to divorce in person should obtain legal advice in relation to financial issues/clean break orders. As the law is complex, there is not a pre-printed clean break order that can be made to fit all circumstances. A clean break order may be very short or very complicated depending on the assets and the agreements reached and a solicitor will prepare each clean break order individually for each client.

To speak to a member of our team about clean break orders, please call 0113 201 4900 or email family.law@emsleys.co.uk.

Gabbie  Clasper

Written by

Gabbie Clasper

Head of Family Law

Gabbie has over 20 years’ experience in family law. She has expert knowledge in complex issues including financial aspects following divorce; pre and post-nuptial agreements; cases with an international element; and civil partnerships. Gabbie is regularly instructed by clients based across the country and abroad. She...

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