What is a clean break order and why do I need one?
CLEAN BREAK ORDER
This is an order made by the court that dismisses all financial claims between husband and wife in life and on death. This includes claims for income (maintenance payments), capital and pensions. It includes claims that can be made on the death of a spouse, or ex-spouse, called Inheritance Act claims. It does not affect the duty to pay maintenance for any dependant children.
DO I STILL NEED ONE IF I AM DIVORCED?
Yes – all financial claims survive the divorce. They continue until the ex-spouse has remarried. They do continue if the ex-spouse is cohabiting. In other words, your ex-spouse could live with someone else for say 20 years, and still make a claim against you. This is obviously very unfair but is perfectly possible from the legal point of view. A financial claim in those circumstances would be complicated but why risk paying legal fees and a lot of stress to fight such a claim? Think of a clean break order as providing similar protection to an insurance policy.
DO I STILL NEED ONE IF I DO NOT HAVE ANY MONEY?
Yes – you may have no money now but hopefully will have some in future. This may be through your hard earned efforts, an inheritance or hopefully a big lottery win! In a recent case, the court allowed an ex-wife to pursue a financial claim after the parties had been divorced for 23 years. The ex-husband had no money when they got divorced but built a very successful company worth millions. The court still has to decide if the ex-wife will actually get any money but this case has cost thousands of pounds in legal fees so far.
For advice on clean break orders or any other areas of Family law please contact Nigel on 01562 820575 or email firstname.lastname@example.org