Many people going through divorce believe, incorrectly, that after the divorce there can be no further financial claims against them, whether for maintenance, property, lump sums or pensions. However many are not aware that a divorce does not prevent either party from making financial claims against the other, even after decree absolute is granted.
What is a Clean Break order?
The only way to prevent financial claims being made against you – even years after the divorce – is to obtain a financial order through the court during the divorce proceedings. One such financial order the court can grant is called a ‘Clean Break’ order. In essence, this order is a financial settlement agreement that prevents either party from making any financial claims against the other once their divorce has been finalised, effectively giving the parties a financial ‘clean break’. After a Clean Break order has been approved by the court, any and all financial claims are closed off, and neither party has the right to make any financial claim against the other from that point onwards.
Why do you need a Clean Break Order after Divorce?
Imagine receiving inheritance from your parents or loved ones, or winning the lottery, many years after your divorce, causing you to believe you have financial security in your later years. Imagine then receiving a letter from your former spouse’s solicitor stating that their client is struggling financially and that they intend to make a financial claim against your new found wealth to help meet their own needs. Whilst your former spouse would have additional hurdles to navigate and legal arguments to extinguish, you would want to ensure that they have no right to make such a claim against you.
Better still, imagine you take the sensible, yet unpleasant step of discussing with those dearest to you what you would like to happen with your finances once you have died, and executing a will to put those wishes into effect. Imagine now, after you have passed, those dearest to you having to face the prospect of litigation with your former spouse, who has come forwards many years later stating s/he is unhappy that no provision has been made for them in your will, and is able to do so as you do not have a Clean Break preventing such a claim from being possible.
In cases of pension, some ex-spouses even wait until their husbands or wives have retired, long after the divorce, before making claims against their pensions.
The above are only a handful of possible situations that could arise, and not knowing what the future holds is further reason to give due consideration to obtaining a Clean Break order after your divorce.
Get help from an experienced divorce solicitor
While we can fully understand why clients want to deal with their divorce without solicitors, applying for and obtaining a Clean Break order without a solicitor is almost impossible, and runs the risk of claims being made against you in the future, including against your estate. This is why tapping into the expertise of an experienced divorce solicitor is the only way to ensure your finances are secured from unjustified claims in the future.
However you decide to handle your divorce, even if you are preparing the divorce payments yourself, speaking to a solicitor about how to prevent financial claims being made against you is vitally important for your financial future. Alexander JLO has a team of professional divorce solicitors, based in London and throughout the UK, who have the knowledge and expertise you need to successfully obtain a Clean Break order, and potentially save yourself thousands of Pounds in the future.
If you are considering, or currently going through a divorce and need advice on the Clean Break order process, you can contact one of our specialist lawyers for a free, no obligation consultation to see how we can help you avoid the pitfalls of future financial claims.