John Hooper & Co
Specialists in Family Law
The Civil Partnership Act of 2004 provides rights for same sex couples who have entered into a Civil Partnership.
A Civil Partnership is “a relationship between two people of the same sex” which is formed when they register as civil partners of each other within the United Kingdom or where they are treated as having formed a Civil Partnership by virtue of having registered an overseas relationship.
A Civil Partnership ends only on death, dissolution or annulment.
In the event of the breakdown of such a partnership - both parties have considerable legal rights which are akin to those of divorcing couples.
In the event that the Civil Partnership breaks down irretrievably, either one (or both parties) can apply for a dissolution of the Civil Partnership.
The facts which are required to prove the irretrievable breakdown of the relationship are akin to those that are relied upon in divorce (save that there is no ground of adultery).
The financial relief which is available to the parties in the event of the dissolution of the Civil Partnership is also akin to the financial relief which is available to spouses upon divorce, i.e.:-
Orders for maintenance;
Orders in respect of property;
Pension Sharing Orders; and
Child maintenance Orders.
The legislation provides a valuable set of rights for civil partners and it was long overdue (even in 2004).
It is important to remember that these types of cases
are not dealt with by every County Court. There are designated County
Courts which deal specifically with Civil Partnership cases.
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