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An important alternative to marriage, a civil partnership is almost identical, but there are one or two key differences.
Available to both same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples, the process of entering into a civil partnership is very similar to a civil marriage. To register a civil partnership, you and your partner must sign a civil partnership document in front of two witnesses and a registrar. And, in the event of the partnership breaking down, the divorce equivalent – called a civil partnership dissolution – is identical to the no-fault divorce process. The same considerations about the arrangements for any children and a financial settlement need to be addressed.
However, there are some differences – particularly for international families – where specialist legal advice is essential.
Our civil partnership lawyers can help you whether you’re entering into a civil partnership or looking to dissolve one. What our lawyers are particularly known for is our ability to deal with complex financial or child law issues – from pre-partnership agreements to using a surrogate to have a child. We provide advice on:
Civil partnerships have been around since 2005. Initially, they provided legal recognition and protection for same-sex couples. The law was changed in 2013 and, since then, same-sex couples have been able to have a civil partnership or a marriage (as well as convert a same-sex civil partnership into a same-sex marriage). Following a high profile campaign, the law had a further change in December 2019 when it was decided that opposite-sex couples should also have the option of entering into a civil partnership.
In many ways, civil partners and married couples are treated identically, but there are some areas where you do have to watch out for differences.
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