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Battrick Clark Solicitors offer all the help and legal advice you will need if you are considering entering into or dissolving a civil partnership.

We have expert knowledge in this area, and provide a welcoming service.

  • We can give you information about the provisions of this new area of law
  • We are experienced family lawyers
  • Should your partnership break down, we can advise you on issues such as finance and property division

Law on Civil Partnerships in the UK

Under the Civil Partnership Act 2004, civil partnership was introduced into UK law as a legal entity for the first time.

The Act allows for two people of the same sex to register as civil partners of each other.

The first civil partnership ceremonies in England and Wales took place in late December 2005.

The minimum age requirement for civil partnership is 16. Consent from appropriate persons (typically parents or other responsible guardians) is normally required if either partner is aged under 18; but where it is refused, you can apply to a court for consent instead, and in this case, it may be granted at the court’s discretion.

In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of an opposite-sex couple contesting the compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights of the existing UK legislation on Civil Partnerships by dint of the legislation’s restrictive applicability only to same-sex couples. The UK government has announced plans to amend the 2004 legislation accordingly, but no amendment has yet been instituted at the time of writing.

Dissolution of Civil Partnerships

As with married couples, civil partners are barred from applying for termination of the partnership until one year after the date of the civil ceremony. As with divorce / financial separation, one partner must prove that the partnership has broken down irretrievably by proving one of the following facts:

  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion
  • Two years’ separation (with consent)
  • Five years’ separation (without consent).

There is no fact of adultery in the termination of a civil partnership, by virtue of the prevailing legal definition of adultery.

Issues concerning finance and property division follow more or less the provisions available to married couples under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

Remedies are available to civil partners in disputes involving children under the Children Act 1989 as amended.

We are qualified to advise and represent civil partners upon partnership breakdown.

If you need advice or assistance, give us a call.

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