When it comes to how your assets will get divided on divorce, you may have heard the term clean-break. We can explain what a clean break is and why the courts might award this, as well as negotiating a clean break on your behalf.
Put simply, a clean break is just that. It is an order by the court or an agreement between the parties to say that neither has any further claim against the other, effectively drawing a line so that there are no longer any financial ties between you and your spouse. Without a clean-break, you could have a financial settlement but your spouse could come back for more, including requesting to vary any spousal maintenance order or requesting provision from your estate if you were to die.
A clean break is often something that both parties wish to have, as it means that the parties can move on from one another. The courts will often encourage this approach rather than tying the parties together with financial ties despite the break down of their marriage. A clean break can therefore be an effective tool in an amicable settlement between parties; this is particularly useful when the parties still require a level of involvement due to arrangements for children, as it means that there is no animosity based on financial ties.
Effectively, a clean break order means your spouse cannot later request spousal maintenance or even a proportion of any future assets at a later date (for example an inheritance or a lottery win!).
If you have children
A clean break does not over-ride the requirement to pay child maintenance. If you are unable to agree child maintenance with your spouse, the Child Maintenance Service can calculate how much child maintenance should be paid and take action if payments are not made.