The clean break financial settlement on divorce

8th March 2015 by


Whether you are seeking the advice of a divorce solicitor in Brighton, London or elsewhere in the UK, the benefits of arranging a “clean break” divorce settlement are many and are highly encouraged by the family court.

Under section 25A of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA) it is stated that, on the granting of a divorce or annulment of marriage, the court has a duty to consider whether it should exercise its powers so as to ensure “that the financial obligations of each party towards the other will be terminated as soon after the grant of the decree as the court considers just and reasonable”.

In simple terms this means that the court will favour a settlement whereby all the finances are sorted in one fell swoop and neither party to the divorce will have any further financial responsibility attached to the other.

Is a ‘clean break’ suitable for couples with children?

A clean break financial settlement is rarely suitable for a couple with children, as applications for support in relation to children cannot be finally dismissed by the court until they reach adulthood. However, it may be possible for the ex-husband to achieve a clean break of dependence from his former wife, especially if she has independent wealth or the court could reasonably expect her to be capable of supporting herself after the divorce.  Paternal support for the children would still be ongoing and any dispute regarding child maintenance would be adjudicated vie the Child Maintenance Service (formerly the Child Support Agency).

Where a couple has only been married for a relatively short time, the clean break financial settlement is particularly suitable if sufficient capital is available. Couples are encouraged by the court to negotiate, as far as possible, the division of assets and wealth through independent mediation and negotiation before presenting their case to the court. Once an application has been made to the court, it would seek to ratify an order, taking into account the individual merits of each case, and making a ruling to the effect of a “clean break”.

Correspondingly, a clean break settlement may also be suitable for a couple whose children have grown up and are leading independent lives of their own. However, it may be that the longer a couple has been married, the greater likelihood for dispute over each spouse’s contribution to the marital finances. The individual merits of each case would require full investigation to decide how any wealth, property and assets, such as pensions, would be divided.

Healys divorce solicitors in Brighton and London for financial settlement guidance

The family law team at Healys is able to offer expert legal advice on commencing or defending an application for ancillary relief and its solicitors have the knowledge and wide-ranging experience to advise whether a clean break divorce settlement would be in your best interests.

Where the amount and diversity of assets is substantial or complex our practice boasts a full financial services team with experience in negotiating settlements which have included offshore accounts, international business concerns, high-value property and share portfolios, and all manner of inheritance sums.

We pride ourselves on our ability to listen sensitively to your concerns surrounding divorce while being prepared to fight your corner so that you achieve the best possible outcome.

If you wish to speak to a divorce solicitor in Brighton, please call Catherine Taylor on 01273 669 124 or e-mail on For divorce settlement legal advice in London, please call 020 7822 4000 or email