Insights & advice

What Is A Clean Break Order?

When getting divorced from your spouse, there are a number of different orders which can be made during the process and one of these is a clean break order. Whilst there is an additional cost involved in getting this in place, there are also a number of benefits to this order being in place. It can offer you some real protection against any future financial claims made against you by your ex-spouse.

Most of us think that once the divorce is settled that it is all over and the responsibility for our ex-spouse is over, particularly where no spousal maintenance payments were put into place. However, this is not actually the case and this is particularly true if your ex-spouse does not remarry.

In the event that you were to come into an inheritance or even win the lottery, the absence of a clean break order could open the door to your ex-spouse taking you to court and taking a share of your good fortune.

A Euro Millions lottery winner, Nigel Page, won £55 million on the lottery but when he divorced his wife he did not have much money and didn’t bother making a clean break settlement. This had massive financial implications for him as his ex-wife took him to court and as she had not remarried, as he had, she won her case and he was forced to pay the settlement to his ex-wife, which totalled £2 million and in addition he had to pay his legal fees too.

Whilst the example of Mr Page is an extreme one, there are other financial claims that could be made against you further down the line, if you fail to obtain a clean break order. This may include access to your pension fund, if this was not included in the original settlement.

If you are going through a divorce now or you are already divorced but you did not put a clean break order in place, you should speak to a specialist solicitor as soon as possible and make arrangements to make one to ensure that you are protected now and in the future.

For more information about this article or any aspect of our family law services, please call Charles Goodbody on 01985 214444 or email and we will be delighted to help you (there is no charge for initial telephone discussions).


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Just a short note to once again express my sincere thanks to you, Sue and the M&U team, for all your help, cooperation and first class professional support. I am most grateful to you all.

Chris Stephenson, Warminster

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