What is a Civil Partnership?
A Civil Partnership is a legally registered relationship which gives same sex couples similar rights to married couples of the opposite sex. These rights relate to areas such as Tax, pensions and the right to apply for parental responsibility for a partner’s child.
Civil Partnerships were introduced in the UK in 2005. They are sometimes referred to as ‘Gay marriage’, however this is not strictly accurate as there are some legal differences between a Civil Partnership and a marriage.
A number of different legal services are available in relationship to Civil Partnerships, both before entering into a partnership and in the event of a breakdown in the partnership.
Pre-partnership agreements are broadly similar to pre-nuptial agreements for marrying couples. Prior to entering into a civil partnership they enable you and your partner to set out what will happen if the relationship should break down. They can include things such as how jointly owned property and possessions will be divided if the partnership ends.
Although pre-partnership agreements are not currently legally binding in England, they are likely to be taken into account by the courts if they have been prepared in the correct manner and within the appropriate safeguards.
Dissolution of a Civil Partnership
If a Civil Partnership breaks down irretrievably you have to get permission from the court to dissolve the partnership. The court can grant you either a separation order or a dissolution order.
Separation orders for Civil Partnerships
Separation orders are generally used where the partnership has not yet lasted for 12 months, so a dissolution order is not yet available. The granting of a separation order means that you are unable to enter into another civil partnership until you get a dissolution order.
Contact us for more information about civil partnerships.