Civil Partnership Divorce


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The Legalities of Civil Partnerships
The Civil Partnership Act came into effect in 2005, allowing same-sex couples to enter into legally binding partnerships and have legal status for the first time in England and Wales. Couples must be of the same sex, not closely related and aged 16-years-old or over; anybody aged 16 or 17, written consent of a parent or guardian is required.

All local authorities in England and Wales are required to provide a facility for the registration of Civil Partnerships. All those facilities currently approved for marriages will automatically be allowed to register Civil Partnerships and new approvals of facilities will apply to both. 


Following registration of their partnership the couple will have specific rights and obligations under the provisions of the Civil Partnership Act:


  •  Be assessed for tax and benefits purposes in the same way as marriage partners
  •  Be obliged to provide reasonable maintenance for each other and any dependent children
  •  Be recognised as a couple under immigration and nationality law
  • The procedure for registering a Civil Partnership is as follows:
  •  A registration fee will be payable as with marriages
  •  Both partners sign the Civil Partnership document which is witnessed by the registrar and two other people
  •  Couples must register their intent publicly for a minimum of seven days in their area(s) of residence as well as in the area where they want the registration to take place. If nobody has objected after at least fifteen days following their declaration of intent, they can proceed with registration
  •  Following registration the names of those who have formed Civil Partnerships will be made available for public inspection in local register offices but addresses will be withheld
  •  If one partners wishes to change their surname following formation of the partnership their registration certificate will be regarded as acceptable evidence 
  •  It is permissible for the couple to hold a ceremony for the registration of their Civil Partnership but not a religious service
  •  Registration must take place in a building specifically approved for the purpose, except if one partner is suffering from a serious illness and not expected to recover in which case they are allowed to register at their home
  •  The signing of the document not spoken words makes the agreement legally binding 
  •  It can only be dissolved through a legal procedure or the death of one of the partners and evidence must be provided that the partnership has broken down irretrievably 
  •  To establish that the legal partnership has irretrievably broken down, the court will require evidence of one of four grounds - unreasonable behaviour, separation for two years when both partners consent, five years separation [which does not require the consent of the other partner] or desertion by one of the partners for a minimum of two years. It is if the court is satisfied that one of these conditions is fulfilled, that civil partnership dissolution can occur 


Contact one of our specialist divorce solicitors today to obtain specialist advice:

If you are unfortunate enough to be considering a Civil Partnership divorce [as dissolving a civil partnership is often known], contact one of our specialist divorce solicitors today to obtain specialist advice:

  • call us on 0800 1404544 or
  • use the contact form below:
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Civil Partnership Dissolution – UK Solicitors specialising in the Dissolution of Civil Partnerships



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