Civil Partnership Legal Specialists

The breakdown of a relationship can give rise to anxiety, confusion, and concern for the future. At Fentimans we have a team of highly experienced solicitors who will advise you on how to get the best outcome for you and your situation. We promise to listen carefully to your concerns and ensure that we take the right approach, we will then act quickly and efficiently to minimise the stress throughout the process.

To speak to a member of our team call us on 01564 779 459 or contact us online here

A civil partnership is a legally recognized union with rights similar to those of marriage. Civil partnerships were created originally for same-sex couples in jurisdictions where they were not legally allowed to marry however since 2019 new regulations mean that same-sex couples are able to enter into civil partnerships should they wish.

The basic legal requirements are effectively the same for both marriage and civil partnership: in terms of age, the parties must be over 16 (with parental consent if under 18), they cannot be currently married or in a civil partnership and must not be close relatives.

Ending a civil partnership
The breakdown of any relationship can give rise to anxiety, confusion, and concern for the future and this is no different with a civil partnership. At Fentimans we have a team of highly experienced solicitors who will advise you on how to get the best outcome for you and your situation. We promise to listen carefully to your concerns and ensure that we take the right approach with every aspect of dissolving your civil partnership, we will then act quickly and efficiently to minimise any stress throughout the process.

Civil partnership Dissolution FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions our clients tend to have about the initial dissolution procedure for civil partnerships and how to start the process. For any further queries or additional information surrounding these, do not hesitate to contact us and one of our friendly experts will advise you further.

How soon can I make an application to dissolve my Civil Partnership?
For civil partnerships in England and Wales, there is a one-year minimum time frame before your application to dissolve can be made. However, a civil partnership can be annulled. The reasons for annulment are very similar to those for marriage with the exception of consummating. Unlike marriage sexual intercourse does not have to take place for the civil partnership to be considered complete. Reasons which are grounds for annulment in civil partnerships include,
– One of you was already married or in a civil partnership when the civil partnership took place.
– You didn’t properly agree to the civil partnership – for example, you were made to enter into the partnership by force or you were intoxicated at the time.

How can a civil partnership be dissolved?
The process to dissolve a civil partnership is very similar to petitioning for a divorce.
Before you can file an application at court (a process that our expert solicitors will assist you through) you first of all need to decide on the ‘grounds’ for the dissolution.

What this means is basically the reason you are putting on the form as to why your partnership has broken down and therefore why you wish to apply for it to be dissolved.

Just like divorce, ‘irretrievable breakdown’ is effectively the only grounds for dissolution but can be supported by one of the following facts that are deemed to be acceptable reasons.

Irreconcilable behaviour– Your partner has behaved in such a manner that you can no longer expect to be able to live together.
Two-year separation with consent- You and your partner have lived apart from one another for two years and your spouse consents to a dissolution.

Five-year separation– You have lived apart from your partner for more than five years. If you have lived apart from each other for this length of time, consent from your partner to agree to dissolution is not required.

Desertion – Your partner has deserted you and you have been apart for two years.
Previously stating ‘irreconcilable differences’ as their grounds for dissolution on a petition was not a sufficient enough reason by itself. Any of the options given above were deemed more appropriate as just putting irreconcilable differences would require you to add further details and evidence to support your case.

However, since April 2022 key changes have been made to make this process simpler.
The irretrievable breakdown of a civil partnership or irreconcilable differences can be given as the sole ground for dissolving your civil partnership rather than having to prove one of the five facts. A simple statement of irretrievable breakdown will be sufficient evidence.

Can adultery be used as a reason to dissolve my civil partnership?
No, unfortunately just like in the grounds for an annulment of your civil partnership, adultery cannot be used as evidence. This is one of the few differences between the dissolution of a civil partnership and divorce where adultery is a common and acceptable reason for divorcing your spouse.

How long does it take to dissolve my civil partnership?
Once you have applied with your evidence to fit within one of the reasons discussed above, the respondent (your former partner) must then acknowledge service of the application and you, (the applicant) can then proceed to apply for a conditional dissolution order. A minimum waiting period of 6 weeks following the conditional dissolution order must then take place for you to apply to make your application to the court for the order to be final. Just like a decree of absolute, this is the actual point at which the civil partnership is legally dissolved and no longer considered valid.

As with divorce, this is not taking into account any issues that may need to be resolved in regard to money, property or any children that you have together. These elements will need to be dealt with separately to your dissolution but may mean that they play a part in it taking longer to finalise- our solicitors will be able to help advise you further on this.

Here at Fentimans, we pride ourselves in offering expert care and advice for every aspect of dissolving your civil partnership and will assist you every step of the way. To discuss your individual case do not hesitate to get in touch on 01564 779 459 to speak to one of our experienced lawyers or contact us online here.