The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force on 5th December 2005 and for the first time same sex couples could enter into a civil partnership
It gave to them most of the same rights and responsibilities as couples of the opposite sex who enter into a civil marriage.
When entering a Civil Partnership both parties have to comply with certain formalities which our legal team will be happy to advise you on.
Regrettably Civil Partnerships, as with Civil Marriages, sometimes break down and the partners wish to dissolve the relationship. In order to dissolve a Civil Partnership, you have to be partnered for one year and the court must be satisfied that the partnership has irretrievably broken down.
To establish this, one of the following has to be proven:
- That one party has behaved in such a way that it is unreasonable to expect the other party to live with them
- That they have lived apart for at least two years and both parties give their consent to the dissolution
- That they have lived apart for at least five years, in which case consent is not required from both parties
- That one party has deserted the other
A Civil Partnership cannot be dissolved on the basis of adultery.
Financial claims can be made against each other in respect of property, capital, income and pensions. Although Civil Partnerships are a new area of Law, there are many similarities between a dissolution and a divorce and the courts are likely to take a similar approach in respect of finances.
Civil partners should consider whether, prior to entering into the civil partnership, they should enter into a Pre-Partnership Agreement. Whilst not legally binding, a Court would be likely to take it into consideration in deciding how financial claims should be resolved in the event of a relationship breaking up.
Our experienced Family Law Team would be able to offer you careful, practical advice.