Family Lore Clinic: If I have received the decree absolute and did a clean break order afterwards am I divorced?

This is perhaps another example of the confusion that can be caused by our system under which all matters relating to a divorce do not have to be dealt with together.

The answer is that you were divorced when the court made the decree absolute. The clean break order merely finalised the financial/property aspect of the divorce.

A 'clean break order' is an order dismissing all financial/property claims by either party against the other. Clean break orders are usually 'consent orders', i.e. made with the consent of both parties. The order (like any other final financial/property order) is often made before the decree absolute, but it does not have to be made in order for the divorce to be finalised.

For a little more information regarding consent orders and the decree absolute, see this post, which dealt with a similar query. As I mentioned there, if you would like more detailed advice, you should consult a specialist family lawyer.