Here at PDA Law, we provide couples with legal advice regarding civil partnerships, whether you want to enter a partnership or legally end one.
What is a civil partnership?
Although same-sex couples were given the right to marry in 2013, some couples may still choose to enter a civil partnership with their partner. The Civil Partnership Act 2004 allows same-sex partners to have their relationship legally recognised through the registration of a civil partnership.
What is the difference between civil partnership and marriage?
Before same-sex couples were given the right to marry, the only way for them to receive legal recognition of a relationship was through a civil partnership. There is very little difference in the rights given to married couples and those in a civil partnership.The main difference between the two is that religious institutions are not permitted to perform civil partnerships, but are permitted to perform marriages.
Before entering a civil partnership, you have the right to draw up a pre-partnership agreement (the equivalent of a prenuptial agreement). Having a pre-partnership agreement means you can protect your assets in the event that you and your partner end the relationship. This agreement should be fair for both parties and cover details such as finances, property, debt and custody of children.
For help drawing up a pre-partnership agreement, get in touch with us today. Call 01244 373 373.
The registration process
To register for a civil partnership, both partners must have lived in England or Wales for a week or more. The couple will then need to provide at least 15 days’ notice, stating that they desire to enter a civil partnership. This notice must outline the time, date and location of the intended registration. A civil partnership registration can be held at any licensed location, excluding religious premises.
The signing of the civil partnership registration should be carried out in front of a licensed registrar and two witnesses.
Your legal rights
Once a couple has entered into a civil partnership, both parties gain new legal rights that can aid them in the event of a partner’s death or the dissolution of the partnership.
If one partner dies, the Civil Partnership Act will give the surviving partner legal rights to the deceased partner’s estate.
In the event of a dissolution, both parties will have rights in relation to splitting finances and the custody of children, which should be negotiated if there is no pre-partnership agreement.
Civil partnership dissolution
To end a civil partnership, a couple will need to file a dissolution order, the equivalent of filling for a divorce. In order to dissolve a civil partnership, it must be proven that the relationship has broken down irretrievably for one or more of the following reasons:
- unreasonable behaviour
- desertion for two or more years
- separation for two years (with a mutual consent to dissolve the partnership)
- separation for five years (no mutual consent required)
Why do I need a solicitor?
The process of civil partnership dissolution or pre-partnership agreements can be long and complicated. PDA Law aims to make this process as stress-free for you as possible by guiding you through the process step-by-step.
Call us today
If you need advice regarding your rights as part of a civil partnership, our specialist solicitors are here to help. Call PDA Law for a no obligation consultation on 01244 373 373.