clean break

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The principle that, upon divorce, spouses should try to settle their financial affairs in a final manner, by a lump sum order, rather than a continuous periodical payments order. Under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, the courts have a duty to consider whether they can achieve a clean break in their orders for financial relief even when there are children. However, the Child Support Act 1991 makes it possible for a parent with care of a child to apply directly to the Child Support Agency for a maintenance assessment even when the divorce court has achieved a clean break (see child support maintenance).

Subjects: Law.

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