From the 5th December 2005 same sex partners may register their relationship to obtain similar legal rights to those persons who are married.
we are fully conversant with the Civil Partnership laws. We deal with these matters sensitively and constructively to assist same sex couples to understand their legal rights which have been long awaited.
Registration of Civil Partnership
Couples can register their Civil Partnership at any authorised Registry. Each party to the Partnership must be of the same sex, not already married or a Civil Partner, over 16 years of age, not within prohibited degrees of the relationship and lived in England and Wales seven days prior to giving notice of registration.
They must sign a Partnership document in the presence of each other, two witnesses and the Registrar. They in turn also sign the document. Top
Legal Rights for Civil Partners
Once registered they will have certain legal rights:
- A legal duty to provide maintenance for their Civil Partner and any children of the family.
- The right to be treated as next of kin in all kinds of legal situations ie the hospital.
- Apply for Fatal Accidents Compensation.
- To be treated the same as married heterosexual couples for the purposes of all taxation laws and life assurance.
- To be treated the same as married heterosexual couples for the purposes of wills, intestacy and inheritance laws.
- Apply for the same remedies as married heterosexual couples under domestic abuse legislation.
- Recognition of the relationship for the purposes of immigration and nationality.
This list is not exhaustive and specialist legal advice should be sought for further information. Top
Dissolution of a Civil Partnership
A Civil Partnership can be dissolved by way of a Dissolution Order, Nullity Order, Presumption of Death Order or Separation Order.
The grounds for dissolution are the same as for divorce in that one can cite unreasonable behaviour, two years separation, five years separation or two years desertion. Top
Financial Provision when a Civil Partnership is dissolved
Civil Partners can ask the court to make the following financial orders:
- The transfer of a property and / or tenancy.
- The sale of a property.
- To order a lump sum.
- To earmark or split a pension.
- Verify any financial agreement made before a marriage.
- Place a legal charge over a property.
- Maintenance for either spouse or child/dependant.
The courts will use the same legal factors in matrimonial finances, to decide what is fair in a Civil Partnership dispute. Top
Children and Civil Partners
Civil Partnership laws have made significant amendments to existing Children laws. Civil Partners can:
- Acquire Parental Responsibility.
- Appoint a guardian, if they have Parental Responsibility.
- Apply for child maintenance and contact the Child Support Agency.
- Adopt children.
- Apply for Residence, Contact, Prohibited Steps and Specific Issues Orders.
Again this list is not exhaustive and further legal advice should be sought. Top