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Same Sex Marriage / Civil Partnerships

Entering into a civil partnership or same sex marriage is one of the best days of your life but, unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong and the relationship breaks down. Our solicitors are members of Resolution which aims to deal with relationship breakdowns in a constructive way so that disputes are resolved as quickly as possible to help those involved move on. 

What is a civil partnership?

A civil partnership is a legally registered relationship which gives same sex couples rights similar to those of married couples.

What is a same sex marriage?

Since the introduction of new legislation same sex couples can now marry rather than enter into civil partnerships.

How do I convert a civil partnership to a marriage?

Since 10th December 2014, couples involved in a civil partnership can convert their arrangement to a marriage. It’s a simple process with the only legal requirement being that you sign a declaration stating you agree to convert your civil partnership into a marriage and are happy to become your partner’s lawful husband or wife. The date of your marriage certificate will be backdated to the date of your civil partnership.

How can my civil partnership or marriage be dissolved?

To dissolve a civil partnership you need to apply for a dissolution, whereas to dissolve a marriage you need to apply for a divorce. The process for both is very similar, with the grounds for divorce or dissolution being that the relationship has irretrievably broken down. This has to be proved in any one of five ways: adultery (this is only applicable to divorce); unreasonable behaviour; being separated for two years with consent from the respondent; five years separation without consent and five years if your partner has deserted you. 

If the court accepts the application, a decree nisi will be granted. Then, after six weeks and one day, a decree absolute can be applied for which ends the marriage or civil partnership

When can I get a civil partnership or marriage dissolved?

To obtain a dissolution, you have to wait a minimum of 12 months from the date your civil partnership or marriage took place.

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