Dissolving a Civil Partnership – What’s involved 

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 introduced the concept of Civil Partnerships for same-sex couples and put them on an equal footing with civil marriages. 

The process to dissolve a civil partnership is similar to a divorce in that you must have been in a civil partnership for at least one year.  We are able to assist clients in the resolution of these problems by way of advice and mediation in a sympathetic and understanding manner.  Our Solicitor will be there to guide you through the process, steer you clear of the legal pitfalls and offer sensitive advice. 

Our Solicitor will sensitively guide you through the process. 

We will explain the process to you, start the proceedings for you and once it is underway, keep you informed at each stage. 

What we will need to have or know: 

  • The reasons you want to dissolve the Civil Partnership; 
  • If you are living apart from your Civil Partner and when you separated; 
  • The names and ages of any children who are part of the family; 
  • The children’s current and future living arrangements; 
  • The current contact arrangements between parents and children; 
  • A list of your assets, savings, income and pension arrangements and those of your Civil Partner; 
  • Your Civil Partnership certificate; 
  • Any other relevant documents, names and dates. 

These details will help us decide what grounds you might have for the dissolution and help us to estimate what the time-scales, costs and results of your case might be. 

The grounds for requesting a dissolution are that the relationship has irretrievably broken down based on one of the following 

  • Your partner’s behaviour is such that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them – this could include physical or mental cruelty, verbal or physical abuse, being irresponsible with money or being sexually unfaithful; 
  • Your partner has deserted you; 
  • You have been separated from your partner for two years and they agree to the dissolution; 
  • You have been separated from your partner for five years or more. 

We will give you more details of each of these sets of circumstances at your initial appointment. 

If you are applying for the dissolution we will usually write to your partner to inform them that you are intending to start proceedings.  This letter will also recommend that they get independent legal advice if they have not done so already. 

We will then prepare the dissolution petition and send it to the Court who will forward it to your partner for their reply.  If you have children under the age of sixteen (or over sixteen and in full-time education) you will need to fill in a form called a “statement of arrangements for the children”.  This asks for details about whom they will live with, where they are educated and what your plans are for them including contact. 

If you have received a letter from your partner’s solicitor then we will request a copy of the petition and advise you on the contents and the dissolution process. 

Once your partner has replied to the petition you will need to confirm your intention to go ahead with the application to end the partnership by making a statement in support of your petition which is sent to the Court along with an application for a conditional order. 

Six weeks after the conditional order the petitioner can apply for a final order.  This legally dissolves the partnership.  However, it is usually more sensible to wait until financial matters have been resolved before applying. 

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