“Why Should I Get A Clean Break On Divorce?”

13th February 2024


by Rebecca Woodley, Senior Associate Solicitor

Due to factors such as time and cost, it may sometimes seem easier and cheaper for separated couples to ‘do your own divorce.’ However, there can be pitfalls for the unwary. This case study shows why.

A couple’s marriage had lasted for over ten years before they separated. They lived in a Housing Association property, each had a job with a modest income, had very little pension provision and no other savings. When they parted company, they didn’t seek legal advice.  Instead, they went ahead and issued their own divorce proceedings, while doing nothing about the financial aspects of their situation because there were no assets to argue over.

Around three years later, the wife’s mother died unexpectedly, leaving her a six-figure sum. The husband is now making a claim on the inheritance, even though they had no joint assets at the time of separation. To avoid the costs and stress of a court application, the wife has, reluctantly, agreed to pay the husband 10% of what she receives.

If the wife had taken early advice, she could have avoided the current frustrations and been divorced with a Clean Break in place before her mother died and her former husband would have had no claim on her inheritance.

In the current economic climate, it would be unsurprising if couples were to choose to issue their own divorce proceedings in order to save money.  Even if you wish to do this, it is still important to take early legal advice following the breakdown of a marriage, and put a Clean Break in place if appropriate, to ensure that future assets are protected.

Fraser Dawbarns will be happy to help you review your situation and help you through separation and divorce. If you would like further information regarding Clean Breaks, please contact our Family Specialist Rebecca Woodley on 01366 381818 or email rebeccawoodley@fraserdawbarns.com.


This article aims to supply general information, but it is not intended to constitute advice. Every effort is made to ensure that the law referred to is correct at the date of publication and to avoid any statement which may mislead. However, no duty of care is assumed to any person and no liability is accepted for any omission or inaccuracy. Always seek advice specific to your own circumstances.  Fraser Dawbarns LLP are always happy to provide such advice.

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