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Family Law

Whats happens if I did not get a clean break order when I divorced?


What happens to?
The most commonly asked questions from couples separating or divorcing

Monday, October 25, 2021

A Decree Absolute ends your marriage but unless you have a clean break order, your ex-spouse could make financial claims against you in the future. Your ex-spouse could make a claim against assets and money you acquire after you divorce, for instance claim for a share of your bonus or inheritance or any windfall. There is no time limit for making a claim, so it could be many years before a claim is made by your ex-spouse.

How do I avoid my ex-spouse making a claim?

The only way to avoid a financial claim from your ex-spouse, after you have divorced, is with a Court Order. This is known as a “Clean Break” Order.

Even if you and your ex-spouse had no assets to divide, it is still necessary to have a clean break order, to prevent your ex-spouse from being able to make financial claims against you in the future.

How do I apply for a Clean Break Order?

An application for a clean break order is made to the Court. A solicitor will draft the application for you. Both you and your ex-spouse then need to sign the Application. It is sent to the Court for approval. There is no need for either you or your ex-spouse to attend court. The Court will then return the approved sealed Order.

What happens if my ex-spouse refuses to agree to a clean break?

If your ex-spouse refuses to sign the application for a clean break you could try mediation and or seek advice from a solicitor. If appropriate a solicitor will write to your ex-spouse or their solicitor on your behalf.

If your ex-spouse is still adamant about not signing the application for a clean break order, the matter will need to be dealt with by the Courts. They have the power to make a clean break order but only after you and your ex-spouse have provided the Court with full financial disclosure.

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