The Civil Partnerships Act 2004 came in to force on 5 December 2005.
The Act provides a framework for the dissolution of partnerships and the resolution of financial disputes upon the breakdown of same sex relationships where there has been a formal registration of the relationship under the Act. Registration was allowed from 20 December 2005.
Same sex couples who sign a civil partnership registration document commit themselves to a range of rights and responsibilities which are essentially the same as those associated with marriage. Civil partnership is not the same as a gay marriage, but the rules and legal principles concerning the creation and dissolution of civil partnerships are based in the most part on those governing marriage.
Before entering into a civil partnership couples may want to clarify what should happen regarding their finances in the event of separation and in these circumstances, you may want to draw up a pre-partnership agreement.
In the event that your civil partnership breaks down you will need to apply for a dissolution which is the equivalent of a divorce. If children are involved legal representation can ensure the appropriate arrangements are made. The court may end a civil partnership on an application by either of the parties.
Upon dissolution it is open to either partner to make an application in relation to the partnership finances, and such issues are dealt with in very much the same manner that financial disputes between married couples would be dealt with.
Your next step
If you are entering into civil partnership and would like to draw up a pre-nuptial agreement, have already entered into a civil partnership and wish to sort out financial or children arrangements or if you intend to dissolve a civil partnership please contact a member of our family team who will have a confidential chat with you regarding your situation. We will then be able to advise you on whether we can help you.