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Civil partnerships

There are very few differences between a marriage and a civil partnership and the way financial matters are dealt with is the same.


Despite the legalisation of same-sex marriages, the Civil Partnership Act remains in place and people can choose to enter into either a civil partnership or a marriage. The only difference is that adultery can not be used as evidence to apply for the dissolution of a civil partnership or a same-sex marriage.


Advice offered will cover:

  • Your rights as a cohabitee if you haven't entered into a civil partnership or same-sex marriage

  • A clear explanation of the process for dissolving a civil partnership or same-sex marriage

  • How financial assets can be distributed with the options available to reach an agreement and the costs associated with these options.

Civil partnerships were introduced in 2004 and provided same-sex couples with the same rights as married couples. However, cohabiting couples must formally apply for a civil partnership to be offered protection. 

Differences between marriage and civil partnerships are minor - and financial claims, pensions matters, tax implications as well as inheritance are treated equally.


The legal process when the civil partnership breaks down is very similar to that of a divorce. To apply for a dissolution, you must have been in a civil partnership for at least a year. It will be unnecessary to attend court or see a judge and, generally, the process is simple.

If agreements cannot be reached regarding any children which you have together, or assets such as property, as in a divorce these will also be considered - albeit in parallel to the dissolution process. 

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