Advantages and Disadvantages of a Clean Break Order

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What is a Clean Break order?

A clean break order, also known as a clean break agreement or a financial order, is a legally binding document in the context of divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership. It outlines the financial arrangements between the parties involved, including the division of assets, agreements to pay child maintenance, and other financial responsibilities.

The primary purpose of a clean break settlement is to provide clarity and finality in financial matters following a divorce or dissolution. It aims to sever financial ties between the divorced couples or partners, allowing them to move forward and become financially independent, without the risk of future financial claims.

A clean break order typically covers the following aspects:

  • Division of Assets: This includes property, savings, investments, pensions, and any other shared financial assets. It specifies who gets what and in what proportions.
  • Maintenance Payments: If applicable, it outlines any ongoing financial support, known as spousal maintenance or alimony, that one party may be required to provide to the other.
  • Child Support: It may also address child maintenance and support arrangements if there are children involved.
  • Pension Arrangements: It can specify how pensions will be divided or shared between the parties.
  • Any Other Financial Arrangements: This may include arrangements for debts, tax liabilities, or any other relevant financial matters.

Once a clean break order is approved by a court, it becomes legally binding and enforceable. It provides both parties with a clear understanding of their financial rights and obligations, and it helps prevent future disputes or claims related to financial matters.

Obtaining a Clean Break order

Obtaining a clean break order in the UK involves several steps. Keep in mind that this process should be carried out with the assistance of a qualified family law solicitor. Below is a general outline of the steps involved:

  • Consult with a Solicitor: Seek advice from a family law solicitor who is experienced in handling divorce and financial agreements. They will guide you through the process and help you understand your rights and options.
  • Reach Agreement: Both parties (you and your ex-spouse or partner) need to agree on the types of financial arrangements, including the division of assets, maintenance, and any other relevant matters. This can be done through negotiation or mediation.
  • Draft a Consent Order: A clean break order is also known as a “Consent Order.” Your solicitor will help draft this document, which is a Court Order outlining the agreed-upon financial arrangements.
  • Submit the Consent Order to Court: The Consent Order needs to be submitted to the court for approval. This can be done online or through your local family court. Along with the Consent Order, you’ll need to provide a D81 Form, which is a statement of information about your financial situation. A family law solicitor can assist in drafting the Form and sending it to the Court.
  • Court Consideration: The court will review the Consent Order to ensure it is fair and reasonable. If the court is satisfied, they will approve the order. If there are any issues, they may request additional information or adjustments.
  • Issuing the Clean Break Order: Once approved by the court, the Consent Order becomes a clean break order and is legally binding. It outlines the financial arrangements between the parties and prevents future financial claims.
  • Implementing the Order: Both parties are required to adhere to the terms and obligations to achieve a clean break. Parties may be obliged to pay a lump sum, transfer assets, or arrange maintenance payments, as specified in the order.
  • Record Keeping: It’s important to keep copies of the clean break order and any related documentation for your records. This will serve as evidence of the agreed-upon financial arrangements and financial settlements.

Remember, it’s crucial to seek legal advice from a qualified solicitor throughout this process to ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

Advantages and disadvantages of a Clean Break order

There are both advantages and disadvantages of a Clean Break Order that you may wish to consider.


  • Clarity and Finality: A clean break order is a type of financial order that provides clear and final financial arrangements between the parties, offering a sense of closure after a divorce or dissolution.
  • Financial Independence: This types of order severs financial ties between the former spouses or partners, allowing them to move forward independently without the risk of future financial claims.
  • Legal Protection: The clean break order is legally binding and enforceable. This means that if one party fails to comply with the terms or a clean break clause, the other party can seek legal remedies.
  • Prevention of Future Disputes: A Clean Break Order helps prevent future disputes or claims related to financial matters, as the terms are clearly outlined and agreed upon.
  • Asset Division: It specifies how assets are divided, providing a fair and equitable distribution according to the circumstances.
  • Child Support and Maintenance: It can include provisions for child support and spousal maintenance, ensuring that both parties know what to expect.



  • Loss of Flexibility: Once a clean break order is in place, it may be difficult to make changes to the financial arrangements if circumstances change in the future.
  • Complex Legal Process: Obtaining a clean break order can be a complex legal process that requires the assistance of a qualified family law solicitor.
  • Negotiation and Agreement Required: Both parties must agree on the financial arrangements, which can be challenging if there are significant disagreements or complexities.
  • Potential Financial Disadvantages: Depending on the circumstances, one party may feel that they did not receive a fair share of the assets or financial support.
  • Costs and Legal Fees: Pursuing a clean break order involves legal fees, which can be a significant expense depending on the complexity of the case.
  • Emotional Impact: The process of negotiating and finalising a clean break order can be emotionally challenging, especially if there are unresolved issues or conflicts between the parties.

It’s important to carefully weigh these advantages and disadvantages in the context of your specific situation. Consulting with a qualified family law solicitor is crucial to ensure that you fully understand the implications and make informed decisions.

How can Expert Family Law assist?

If you are seeking legal advice regarding a clean break consent order in a divorce or separation, then our team at Expert Family Law are happy to assist. We work with a range of experienced firms across the country to provide our clients with the most appropriate legal professional for their case.

Please note, we are not a firm of solicitors. We have a panel of family law firms who we may pass your case onto for a fee. Expert Family Law will not charge you, the client, for our service of passing on your case.

We ensure that the divorce solicitors on our panel have the skills and experience required to assist in your legal case. We can assure you that your financial agreement will be dealt with in a compassionate and understanding manner.

Each solicitor we work with is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Get in touch today using the form at the top of the page to find out if a divorce solicitor from our panel could help with your case.


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