A clean break is achieved in a divorce, whereby the parties have each agreed to separate without any further financial responsibility for each other and therefore, without the ability to make any financial claims against one another’s assets in the future. The Court does have a duty to consider if a clean break is appropriate in each case. When deciding whether a clean break is appropriate, the Court will need to determine if the outcome is fair for each party and whether they can live independently without any financial dependence.

A clean break can be a desirable outcome for couples going through a divorce, as it gives them reassurance that their assets are protected and any financial claims against them would not be successful.

A financial order should provide for the financial claims of the marriage to be dismissed (the clean break), to ensure it is formally documented and legally enforceable. The application to the Court for the approval of a financial order recording the clean break can only be made once the Decree Nisi has been issued in the divorce.

If one party is required to pay spousal maintenance to the other party, a clean break can be achieved by capitalising the party’s maintenance requirement. This means they will pay the spousal maintenance via a lump sum to the party receiving the benefit of it, instead of paying the agreed spousal maintenance sum monthly until the end of the term. Capitalising (and considering discounting) can carry advantages and disadvantages and should be considered with the benefit of specialist advice.

If you would like further advice on how to achieve a clean break within your divorce, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our family team who are offering a fixed fee appointments and would be happy to assist you.

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This article does not necessarily deal with every important topic or cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not designed to provide legal or other advice. If you require specialist advice on this topic, please contact us to discuss how we may assist you.

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