Posted by The Family Law Company on 5th July 2012

It is a common misconception that once you have divorced and obtained your decree absolute, then all matters between you and your formal spouse come to an end. Unfortunately this is not the case. A Decree Absolute, which dissolves marriage, does exactly that, it just ends the marriage. The financial aspect of a divorce is a completely separate issue, not covered by the Decree Absolute, and therefore unless you take the necessary action to protect your finances you could be leaving yourself open to a whole variety of claims in the future from your ex spouse.

Often people who have very few or no assets at the time of their divorce fall into this trap, believing that they do not need to take any action in relation to their finances, because there isn’t anything available at the time.

What many people do not realise is that your Decree Absolute does not dismiss the financial claims which your former spouse could bring against you! This means that, in the future, your ex-spouse could at any time issue a financial claim for a share of any money, or assets which you have, including anything which you have subsequently inherited, or if your lucky enough won, such as a lottery winning!!

Is this unfair? Well perhaps, but unfortunately that is the position of the law.

So how do you get around this? Naturally nobody’s circumstances will ever be the same and the advice you are given will obviously depend on the assets which are involved in your specific case. However upon a divorce you may be advised to obtain a Clean Break Order. This Order effectively draws a line under your finances with your ex spouse, meaning that all future financial claims that your ex spouse could bring against you are dismissed.

Whether a clean break is suitable for your case will depend on a number of factors, and that is why it is essential that you obtain legal advice to ensure that you take the most appropriate action to protect you and your finances upon your divorce.

It could prove to be money well spent!

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