A civil partnership is a legal relationship that can be registered both by heterosexual and same-sex couples in the UK. The registration allows the couple to gain legal recognition for their union, both in terms of legal rights and responsibilities. When the relationship ends, a partnership that was registered with the authorities can only be concluded by court application and if at least one year has passed since its registration.
Couples who are looking to separate, and thus end the existing legal relationship, can reach out to our civil partnership dissolution solicitors for specialized assistance throughout the process.
In this article, we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about ending such a partnership. If you require additional information, as well as answers to very particular questions that pertain to your particular situation, please reach out to our civil partnership dissolution solicitors for more details.
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What are the particularities of the civil partnership?
A civil partnership is legal only if it meets certain conditions.
The civil partnership is the legally recognized relationship between a same-sex or opposite-sex couple in the UK. It is not the same as marriage, and while a same-sex civil partnership can be converted into a marriage, the same is not applicable to opposite-sex civil partnerships.
The civil partnership is recorded with the local register office and the parties are required to give notice, stating their intentions. This statement or notice is to be submitted at least 29 days before the ceremony and in order to be able to do so with the local register office, the parties must have lived in that particular district for the past 7 days.
If you are looking to get a divorce, as opposed to the dissolution of a civil partnership, our London divorce lawyer will answer any questions about this process, how it is different from the partnership dissolution, what are your rights, how your children will be treated, and many other issues. For those who are ready to apply for divorce, we provide ongoing assistance as needed.
How can a civil partnership be dissolved?
Ending a civil partnership registered in England is accomplished by means of a dissolution order. This can only be issued if the partnership has lasted for at least one year.
When you are certain that this is the right step, our civil partnership dissolution solicitors can help you apply to a court for the said order. When this takes place, evidence for one of the following reasons for separation must be offered:
- Unreasonable behaviour: examples include verbal or physical abuse, social isolation, debt or financial recklessness, drunkenness, drug addiction, unreasonable demands, social isolation and others;
- Living apart with mutual agreement for separation: you and the partner have been living apart for two years and you both agree that the dissolution is the proper course of action;
- Living apart without mutual agreement: you and your partner have been living apart for at least five years and only one of you agrees that ending the partnership is the right thing to do;
- Desertion: this is a grounds for dissolution when the partner has deserted the applicant at least two years prior.
Our civil partnership dissolution solicitors can give you more information about these grounds for divorce and assist you as needed when providing evidence to support the claim.
How long does the dissolution take?
Ending the partnership is based on requesting and filling in the special order. This can be done using the online Government portal or by using the forms provided by the Family Court closest to where you live.
When both partners agree to the dissolution, the process will last approximately six weeks (from the date of the condition order of dissolution). When there is no agreement, working with one of our civil partnership dissolution solicitors is the manner in which you can make sure that you can reduce the length of the process. Coming to an agreement is not only beneficial for your particular situation (and that of the children, if they are involved) but also for reducing the costs that are associated with having to go to court.
According to the Office for National Statistics, in 2018 there were 5.3% more civil partnerships registered in England and Wales compared to the previous year. Below, our team of civil partnership dissolution solicitors lists some of the most important statistical data on the subject:
- 2018 was the third year in which civil partnership registrations increased, following a significant decrease between 2013 and 2015;
- The total number of partnerships in 2018 was 956;
- 65% of these were between men;
- 21% of those who entered such a partnership in 2018 were aged 65 or more;
- London is the region where most of the civil partnerships are formed, 32% of all those registered in 2018 took place here;
- 927 civil partnership dissolutions were granted in England and Wales in 2018.
If you would like to receive specialized assistance to end a civil partnership, please contact our civil partnership dissolution solicitors.