Civil Partnerships

On 5 December 2005, the Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force. The legislation enables same-sex couples to obtain legal recognition of their relationship – and every year thousands of gay and lesbian couples enter into a civil partnership and set up a life together with the knowledge that they are fully backed by law.

From December 2014, Civil Partnerships will be able to be converted into marriages.

Click here to view our guide and Civil Partnership FAQ’s

Who can form a Civil Partnership?

  • Same sex couples.
  • Both parties must be 16 years of age or over.
  • If under 18, the parties must obtain parental consent.
  • The parties must not be close blood relatives.
  • Any party who is already married or in a civil partnership is ineligible to register.

How can you obtain a Civil Partnership?

Notice must be given to the General Register Office before you go about registering a Civil Partnership. This notice is published for 15 days, giving an opportunity for formal objections to be raised. After 15 days, the Civil Partnership may be registered.

A Civil Partnership can be registered in England and Wales in a register office or approved premises. The Civil Partnership is registered when both parties sign a legal document called a Civil Partnership schedule. This document must be signed in the presence of a Registrar and two witnesses.

What are the benefits of Civil Partnership?

Couples who decide to have a civil partnership can enjoy many of the same financial privileges as married couples, notably;

  • Inheritance benefits.
  • Equal treatment for tax purposes.
  • Employment benefits.
  • Pension benefits.
  • Life insurance recognition.
  • Access to fatal accidents compensation.
  • The right to be assessed in the same way as married couples in relation to National Insurance and means tested benefits.
  • The ability to claim lump sum and property adjustment orders and maintenance, in the event that the civil partnership is formally dissolved.

There are also many other significant benefits, including;

  • Rights to parental responsibility and the ability to apply for a Residence/Contact Order in relation to a partner’s children.
  • Rights as a ‘next of kin’ in hospitals.
  • Recognition for immigration purposes.
  • Greater protection from domestic violence.

Go back to find out more about Family Law.

View our Civil Partnership Frequently Asked Questions

If you would like more information about our role in civil partnerships, or to find out how to go about registering one, contact us today. We make no initial charge.

Telephone us on 01273 604123 or

Email us: enquire@bbc-law.co.uk