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Same Sex Divorce - Grounds For Dissolution

There are many reasons why one or both partners may want a civil partnership dissolution [the legal term for UK same sex divorce ]. No-fault divorce has not yet arrived in England and Wales for married couples or civil partnerships – in its absence, the court will require supporting “facts” or "grounds" for why the breakdown of the partnership is “irretrievable”.

These facts are effectively the same as apply to divorce unmarried couples – with the surprising exception of the ground of adultery, which cannot be used as the legal basis for the dissolution of the civil partnership. The four available facts are;


1. Unreasonable behaviour – that one partner has behaved in an unreasonable manner. Our experienced lawyers always recommend, when using unreasonable behaviour as the basis for a divorce or civil partnership dissolution, that the details of such behaviour are kept to a bare minimum - unless the circumstances are very, very exceptional indeed, the behaviour of your civil partner, no matter how unreasonable, will not affect any other order the court makes e.g. with regard to your property or children.


Going into too much detail about partner’s unreasonable behaviour, or including issues that would embarrass your partner, is likely to achieve only one thing – unnecessary distress, anger and a more heated environment in which to conduct your civil partnership dissolution.

Unreasonable behaviour is the only ground which you can rely on for a dissolution of your civil partnership if your partnership is under two years old


2. Desertion for a minimum of two years – if one partner has deserted the other for a period of more than two years, without the agreement of the other, and with the aim of ending the relationship, the Court can dissolve the civil partnership.


3. Separation for at least two years – with consent. If the civil partners have been separated for a period of more than two years and both agree to the dissolution.


4. Five years separation – regardless of consent. Partners that have been separated for five years or more only need one partner to apply the dissolution.


With regard to separation, the partners may need to provide proof that they have not been living together. In fact it is possible to be considered as separated and not actually living together, even if you continue to actually live in the same building – the law around this, however, is tricky and if you're thinking of using this as the basis of your civil partnership dissolution, do get specialist legal advice first.

You cannot apply for dissolution of a civil partnership if the legally registered partnership is less than 12 months old. In these circumstances, if you really cannot wait until the one-year period up, you may want to consider judicial separation instead.

Thinking of Same Sex Divorce – contact us today

For FREE and specialist initial advice about how our Civil Partnership Solicitors can help you:

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Same Sex Divorce UK – UK Solicitors specialising in the Dissolution of Civil Partnerships