Civil Partnerships

We can provide specialist advice and assistance to same-sex couples whether you decide to live together or enter into a civil partnership. Before you take either of these steps, it can often be beneficial to consult us. Please refer to what we say about unmarried couples if you are considering or have decided to live with, or following a separation from your partner.

Civil Partnership Act 2004

In December 2005 the Civil Partnership Act 2004 was introduced. This means that same-sex couples who enter into a civil partnership now benefit from the same legal rights upon a relationship breakdown as married couples.

Unlike a marriage, a civil partnership can only be dissolved by way of a formal dissolution. Proceedings to dissolve a civil partnership can only commence once a civil partnership has been in place for 1 year or more. The procedure for dissolving a civil partnership resembles the procedure for divorce, namely the person seeking to dissolve the civil partnership must prove that the relationship has broken down irretrievably. To establish this, one of four facts must be relied upon. Three of these depend upon the parties having been separated for more than 2 years or more. The other fact would be to cite the other person’s unreasonable behaviour.

Financial Remedies

The same financial remedies that are available with divorce are available with civil partnership dissolution and so please refer to our Finances section.

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013

Civil partners do now have the option of converting their civil partnership to marriage under the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, section 9 which was brought into force on 13 March 2014.  Civil partnership remains available to same sex couples.

Please contact our experts on 01992 892214 if you would like to make an appointment.

Townsend Family Law Solicitors in Essex, serving Essex and Hertfordshire including Epping, Harlow, Waltham Abbey, Hertford, Enfield, Loughton, Woodford and surrounding areas.