Civil partnerships are an officially registered relationship between two people of the same gender. Though same sex couple now have the right to enter a marriage legally, or convert their civil partnership into a marriage, heterosexual couples are not permitted to enter a civil partnership anywhere in the UK, apart from the Isle of Man.
Ending a Civil Partnership
For those couples that wish to end a civil partnership before one person in the relationship passes away they must seek permission from the court. There are a number of ways in which you can ask for your civil partnership to be ended by the court, including:
- A dissolution order
- A separation order
- Annulment of the partnership
Seeking to end your civil partnership can result in a number of outcomes depending on your personal circumstances. If you are not a citizen of the United Kingdom, an ending to your partnership may result in your right to stay in the country being revoked. Those with children have to make arrangements to look after them, as well as sorting through any financial and housing matters in the interests of both individuals, as well as any dependents.
Applying for a Dissolution Order
A dissolution order can only be applied for through the courts if your civil partnership has lasted for over one year. Any length of time lower than this and you must seek permission for your legal relationship status to be annulled. To the court, you must prove that the partnership has broken down irretrievably and that you cannot be reconciled. As long as you can prove one of the following aspects of your relationship you will be granted a dissolution:
- If you can prove that your partner has behaved in an unreasonable fashion
- If you have lived in a separate residence to your partner for two years or more and you agree on a dissolution
- If both you and your partner have agreed to dissolve the civil partnership
- You and your partner have lived in a separate residence for five years or more, but only one of you agrees with the dissolution
- You were deserted by your partner over two years ago
It is simple enough to get the ball rolling in terms of applying for a dissolution of a civil partnership, with some forms required to be filled out from your nearest Family Court. Depending on whether your partner agrees with the process or not, you should consult a solicitors with experience in family law. A dissolution of a civil partnership can be finalised within 6 weeks of a conditional order made by the court.
Who to Inform
Once your civil partnership has been dissolved there are a number of official agencies that must be notified of your new status. These include your landlord, council tax office, mortgage lender, utility companies, tax office, schools your children are attending or about to attend, your bank and other financial institutions, insurance companies, post office and any medical practitioners.