I think you are misusing the term 'clean break' where you mean financial settlement.
The divorce and financial matters are dealt with separately. The petitioner files a divorce petition and the respondent responds to that petition.
Once the petition has been issued either party can apply for a financial order. The person making who applies for the order is the applicant and the other party is the respondent.
This means that the petitioner (in divorce proceedings) can also be a respondent (in financial proceedings).
So, if you are the respondent in divorce you can apply for a financial order and be the applicant in those proceedings. Confusingly both matters use the same court case number and can be in different courts.
You also don't necessarily need a solicitor, depending upon how simple/complex matters are.
Finally, a clean break is a reference to a financial settlement where there are no ties between the parties e.g. neither party is paying maintenance to the other.