Consent Orders and Clean Break Orders are Financial Orders, and can be obtained if you are getting a divorce, or in certain circumstances, if you are already divorced. They are obtained when parties want to ensure that their financial claims against each other have been settled and approved by the Court.

The divorce process ends with obtaining a Decree Absolute, and whilst this brings your marriage to an end, it does not bring to an end any financial obligations or ties between you and your ex-spouse. This is why it is vitally important to deal with any financial obligations by obtaining a Clean Break Order or a Consent Order.

The effect of having a Clean Break Order at the time of divorce would be to prevent you or your ex-spouse from making any claims against each other’s future income and/or assets, and it would also prevent both of you from challenging a Will made after the divorce.

A Consent Order is the same as a Clean Break Order, only that is drafted for couples who have financial assets to be divided. If you and your ex-spouse have made a decision as to how your financial assets should be divided, then this agreement can be drawn up into a Consent Order which would detail how your assets are to be divided, and would, when appropriate, include a Clean Break clause within it, making clear that neither of you can make a financial claim against the other in the future. Alternatively, if you cannot reach an agreement with your ex-spouse about how assets are to be divided, then you could make an application to Court to commence financial proceedings, which would allow the Court to assess the facts and make a decision how your assets should be divided. A Solicitor at Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice can assist you with this process.

Whilst a Clean Break Order can prevent you or your ex-spouse from making future claims against all assets such as property, income, pensions, and business interests, it should be noted that a Clean Break Order would not prevent the primary carer of any children from claiming child maintenance. This is because it is not possible to dismiss child maintenance claims through the Courts. The primary carer of any children will still be able to apply for child maintenance through the Child Maintenance Service.

For more information on Clean Break Orders and Consent Orders, or to speak with one of our expert family solicitors, please see our contact details below.

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Published: 17/09/2020