A civil partnership is a legally-registered relationship between two people. The procedure for dissolution of a civil partnership is similar to that of a divorce and the same financial remedies are available as those available to a spouse who seeks a divorce. If there are children involved, please see our section on children and family law.
From 31 December 2019, civil partnerships which were previously only available to couples of the same sex, will also be available to opposite sex couples, a legal development which for many has been long anticipated.
Grounds for Dissolving a Civil Partnership
You have to show the relationship has irretrievably broken down and rely on one of the following four grounds for ending a civil partnership:
- Unreasonable behaviour
- Desertion after a period of two years or more
- You have lived apart for more than two years and both parties agree to the dissolution
- You have lived apart for more than five years (then you do not require the other party’s consent).
The procedure mirrors that of divorce – with different terminology being used.
You can apply to end (‘dissolve’) your civil partnership if you have been in the partnership for at least a year.
Dissolving a Civil Partnership
You can apply to end (‘dissolve’) your civil partnership if you have been in the partnership for at least a year. There are three main steps:
- File a dissolution petition - you have to apply to court for permission to end your civil partnership, and show reasons why you want to split up. The petition is posted to the other civil partner.
- The other civil partner then completes and returns the form sent to them by the court indicating whether they agree or intend to object to the dissolution.
- Apply for a conditional order - if there is no reason you should not be legally permitted to bring the partnership to an end.
- Apply for a final order - this legally ends your civil partnership - you need to wait six weeks after you get the conditional order before you can apply.
We Work With You
If you need further advice regarding civil partnerships, contact a member of our Family Law team today or call into your local office.