Financial clean break orders in family proceedings
Financial clean break orders in family proceedings

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Financial clean break orders in family proceedings
  • Duty of the court to consider a clean break
  • Factors to consider in relation to spousal maintenance and a clean break
  • Types of clean break
  • Effect of a clean break
  • Capital and income nature of a clean break
  • Clean break provisions in a consent order
  • Case law

Duty of the court to consider a clean break

Although there is no presumption in favour of there being a financial clean break between parties on divorce, the court is under a duty to consider whether it would be appropriate to exercise its powers so that the financial obligations of parties towards each other can be terminated. On exercising its powers, the court must consider how the financial obligations of each party towards the other will be terminated as soon after the final decree of divorce as the court considers just and reasonable. Section 25A of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973) (and the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (CPA 2004) equivalent provision) is silent as to the circumstances in which it may be appropriate to make a clean break order save that it provides that, in a case where the court decides to make a periodical payments or secured periodical payments order, the court shall consider whether the term is sufficient to enable the party in whose favour the order is made to adjust without 'undue hardship', see also: Factors to consider in relation to spousal maintenance and a clean break.

The power of the court to make a clean break order does not apply in cases of judicial separation.

In cases where an immediate clean break is not achievable