What is a Clean Break Order?

A clean break order ends all financial ties between a couple, meaning neither can make any future claims against the other. This means if one of you wins the lottery or benefits from a huge inheritance, an ex-partner can make no claims for additional financial support.

Once a divorcing couple have agreed how their finances and assets are to be split, this is made into a financial consent order to make it legally binding. A clean break order can be written into this as an additional clause.

When is a clean break order appropriate?

Clean breaks are suitable for short marriages and marriages with no children, as they allow couples to move on in the confidence that an ex-partner cannot make any future financial against them.

When is a clean break order a disadvantage?

Clean breaks are not appropriate where spousal and child maintenance payments are ongoing. However, if an ex-partner has the means they can ‘buy out’ their former spouse by giving them a lump sum. This is invested and the income generated is used to live on. Alternatively, an ex-partner can apply for a deferred clean break order, for example once a child has left full-time education.

It is essential that both parties take legal advice when considering a clean break order as once made legally binding, it is difficult to get the ruling overturned. This can generally only happen if financial fraud is uncovered at a later date. It is particularly important that the financially ‘weaker’ half of the couple, takes legal advice from a family lawyer to protect their financial interests in both the short and long term.


If you are struggling with the impact of divorce and separation, we offer a no obligation initial consultation for a fixed fee of £100 (incl. VAT), for up to one hour. At this meeting, we can advise you on all the issues relating to your personal circumstances, allowing you to make informed decisions moving forward.

To book an appointment please call 01444 472700, email us at info@tisshawssolicitors.co.uk or complete the form below.


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