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An expert's breakdown of clean break consent orders

View profile for Amy Langlois
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An experts breakdown of clean break consent orders

In this article, Family Associate Amy Langlois answers questions around clean break consent orders.

Amy outlines exactly how long it takes to attain a clean break consent order and discusses your options if your ex-partner doesn’t agree to enter into one.

How do I stop financial claims from my ex?

We often get questions from clients regarding the financial side of divorce, including queries such as:

Once I am divorced, am I no longer tied to my ex financially?

Can we just get divorced and agree finances privately?

In this article, I look to answer these questions…

What is a clean break consent order?

A clean break consent order is a form of financial order which can be used to settle and resolve all financial issues between you and your ex-partner, so you become financially independent from each other.

How does a clean break consent order work?

Such an order will often dictate that:

  • A lump sum should be given to one party by the other, or
  • The property should be sold or transferred into the sole name of one of the parties, or
  • No further claims by either party (e.g. periodical payments)

Is a clean break consent order legally binding?

Yes, if approved by court, a clean break consent order will be legally binding.

Can the court refuse a clean break consent order?

Whether a clean break consent order is granted by the court depends on each particular case, their facts and whether it would be appropriate in the circumstances. It is ultimately up to the court to decide.

Essentially, they can refuse if they feel necessary.

What is a clean break consent order and a consent order?

A financial consent order records a parties’ financial agreement and within this consent order, a clean break clause can be included. 

If a clean break clause has been included within a consent order then neither party can make further claims against the other at a later date (once a court has approved the consent order)

How much does a consent order cost in divorce?

Due to the nature of the work involved, we are unable to offer a fixed fee quote. 

This firm’s fees will be based on the time spent by your solicitor and their colleagues at the hourly rates charged by the relevant person acting for you. 

For a simple and straight forward clean break consent order, you are looking at an estimate of around £500-£2,000 plus VAT and third party charges (for example, court fee).

To see a full breakdown of costs involved in divorce, click here.

Or, to get a quote from us click here.

How long does a consent order take?

A consent order can be drafted relatively quickly by your legal representative.  However, a court will not review a consent order until the parties have reached the first stage within their divorce proceedings, which is called the Conditional Order stage. 

How long the court takes to review the consent order depends on the court’s workload at the time.

Generally, if both parties are amicable, the consent order is straight forward and they deal with matters at the earliest opportunity then the divorce and the consent order can be dealt with in 6 to 8 months, much of this being court waiting time.

Related Article: How long does a no-fault divorce take?

What if my ex doesn't agree to a consent order?

There are many options –

Mediation

An independent third party can attempt to help you and your ex come to a collective decision.

Seeking advice from a solicitor

If your solicitor negotiates with your ex-partner’s solicitor, an agreement may be reached.

Collaborative law

Collaborative law involves both you and your ex-partner, your solicitor and their solicitor. This can also help resolve more contentious disagreements and disputes.

Financial remedy order

If your ex is refusing to agree to any financial settlement, order or agreement – then, as a last resort, when no agreement can be reached, you can apply to court for a financial remedy order.

This is basically a way of asking the court to make a decision on how the finances should be split.

Need assistance?

Please, feel free to get in touch with our bright family team. We’d be happy to discuss these options with you, and help you reach a decision on the best way forward.

Call us on 01202 499255 for a free initial chat.

Does a consent order include spousal maintenance?

If one party agrees to pay spousal maintenance to the other then this will be included within the consent order. 

Does a clean break clause affect child maintenance?

No, child maintenance will not be ended by a clean break clause.

Child maintenance ends when the child turns 16 or until they are 20 if they are still in full-time education.

Is a clean break consent order final?

A clean break consent order is final in the sense that it resolves an ex couple’s financial commitment to each other and prevents either party from making future financial claims, however it can be overturned in some rare circumstances.

Can you contest a clean break order?

Such an order may be overturned if fraud has occurred, or one party does not fully disclose their property and assets.

Clearly, a clean break order is a big decision and something that should be considered extremely carefully.

Can I get a clean break consent order after divorce?

Once you are granted the Final Order in your divorce, you are still financially tied to your ex-partner if you do not have a consent order approved by a court. 

We usually recommend parties not to obtain the Final Order until finances have been resolved, i.e. an approved consent order has been granted by a court.

Do I need a solicitor for a clean break consent order?

We recommend that you instruct a solicitor to draft your clean break consent order to ensure that the required provisions are included.

A solicitor can help you through the process, making sure that your best interests are protected.

Solicitors for drafting a clean break consent order

At Frettens, our specialist Family Solicitors can help you in drafting your clean break consent order and can help you in situations where your ex-partner doesn’t agree to such an order.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our bright team for assistance and advice by calling us on 01202 499255 or filling out the form at the top of this page.

We offer a free initial chat for all new clients.

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