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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 and The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013
The above Acts have enabled couples of the same sex to marry and to enter into civil partnerships. Same sex separating couples now benefit from the same legal rights as couples of the opposite sex when a relationship breaks down.
Proceedings to dissolve a civil partnership or a divorce can only commence once a civil partnership or marriage 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. The other fact would be to cite the other person’s unreasonable behaviour. Adultery is not a fact that can be relied on in same sex divorces because the law defines adultery as sexual intercourse between a man and woman.
The same financial remedies that are available to same sex couples dissolving a civil partnership or divorcing. Please refer to our Finances section.