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.

As of December 2014, Civil Partnerships can be converted into marriages.

“From initial meeting to the end of the case Amelia has been fantastic. She was very organised, knowledgeable and very professional at every step. I have been informed about everything and received regular updates.”


Who can form a Civil Partnership?

At present, same sex couples over the age of 16 can form civil partnerships. Anyone under the age of 18 must must obtain parental consent. The parties must not be close blood relatives and cannot be already married or in 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, such as inheritance benefits,  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, and the ability to claim lump sum and property adjustment orders and maintenance, in the event that the civil partnership is formally dissolved.

Civil partners have rights to parental responsibility and the ability to apply for a Residence/Contact Order in relation to a partner’s children and are recognised as ‘next of kin’ in hospitals.

How can a Civil Partnership be ended?

The formal term for the legal end to a Civil Partnership is known as ‘Civil Partnership Dissolution’. To obtain a Civil Partnership divorce or dissolution, you must have been in a registered Civil Partnership for at least 12 months.

The law around Civil Partnership Dissolution is actually very similar to that relating to divorce – if you are looking at ending a civil partnership, or would like more information on how to dissolve a civil partnership, we can help.

Civil Partnership Solicitors

Ending a relationship can be extremely stressful. Our job is to make sure the legal aspects and processes are dealt with so you don’t have to worry about them. We are here to help you by offering clear and comprehensive advice on all aspects of Civil Partnership Dissolution. To talk to a member of our family law team about dissolution of a civil partnership,  call us today on 01273 604 123. Ready to book an appointment? You can book online here.

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