The importance of ‘clean break’ orders

On behalf of Attwaters Jameson Hill posted in Family Law on Wednesday, January 10th, 2024

If you have no assets to divide with your ex-spouse upon divorce, then surely there is no further legal action that needs to be taken? Unfortunately, this is of the biggest misconceptions we see amongst our Family Law clients here at Attwaters Jameson Hill. The assumption that divorce, once granted, marks the end of your financial commitment to your ex-spouse has left many a couple vulnerable to future claims on their finances.

Financial Remedy Order

A Financial Remedy Order, otherwise known as a ‘clean break’ order, is a binding legal agreement that prevents your ex-spouse from bringing a financial claim against you at a later date. Without this document, an ex-spouse is perfectly entitled to make further claims against you even years after your divorce has been finalised. Writing up an agreement between yourselves and signing it, whilst done with the best of intentions, is unfortunately not a legally binding way to ensure a clean break.

According to the legal divorce process, finances are not considered settled unless or until a) financial claims have been dismissed or b) dealt with via an Order.

For example, let’s say your salary greatly increased after your divorce, or you came into considerable wealth in the ensuing years. If your financial situation was not adequately dealt with during your divorce, you could be forced to provide financially for your former spouse.

How to obtain a Financial Remedy Order

Once your Conditional Order (formerly a decree nisi) has been granted in your divorce, you can submit a Financial Remedy Order application to the Court for a judge to review.

Your solicitor will need to prepare the application on your behalf and you must both sign it. The Financial Remedy Order application must be accompanied by a Statement of Information, which essentially outlines your financial situation for the judge.

Once the application has been filed in Court and the judge has reviewed it, they will grant the Financial Remedy Order, protecting you from all future claims.

My ex wouldn’t do that…

If you are amicably divorced from your ex-spouse, you may feel that you trust each other enough not to bring claims against each other in the future. However, nobody knows what the future holds and there is always the risk that circumstances may change. A clean break clause is the only way to know, with absolute certainty, that your ex-spouse will have no future claim on your finances and estate either later in life or upon your death.

Financial Remedy Order solicitors

Our “personable” Family Law team comes highly recommended both by The Legal 500 directory and the Chambers and Partners Guide to law firms. We have supported hundreds of clients in navigating the divorce process and ensuring they are able to move on with their lives with complete peace of mind.

To find out how we can help you, please do not hesitate to get in touch at familylaw@attwaters.co.uk or give us a call on 0330 221 8855.

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