Family Law

Civil Partnership

In precisely the same way as marriage, civil partnership is likely to lead to some degree of interdependence.  Upon termination parties need help whilst they make the transition to independence.  At mfg we pride ourselves on our sensitivity in approaching such issues combined with sound theoretical knowledge and technical skills.

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 places same sex partners who register their partnership in virtually the same legal position as  opposite sex partners who enter in to marriage.  The Act mirrors the provision of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 in that a civil partnership may not be dissolved for a period of 12 months following its creation.  To obtain a dissolution Order it must be shown that the civil partnership has broken down irretrievably and, as with divorce, dissolution Orders are, in the first instance, conditional and may be made final after a further period of 6 weeks and 1 day has expired.

Civil partners are provided with the full range of financial applications that are available to spouses including Orders relating to property, financial support and pension sharing.

A civil partner can obtain parental responsibility for a child in the same way that it is granted to a step-parent who marries a parent, either by agreement or Order of the Court.  A civil partner is also entitled to apply for  a Child Arrangement Order and various other Orders relating to children, including financial provision.  At mfg we have a dedicated team of experts dealing specifically  with child related issues and  if there is abuse to take urgent action.

Equal rights to those of married couples bring with them equal responsibilities.  Those considering entering in to a civil partnership should consider taking legal advice about:-

  • Wills – any Wills made by either party prior to entering in to a civil partnership will be automatically revoked unless made in contemplation of entering in to that partnership.
  • Pre-Registration Agreements (Pre-Nuptial Agreements in marriage) – many same sex couples who have cohabited for many years may both wish to preserve some measure of financial independence.

Every relationship has its own challenges but with the support of a specialist legal team you can be confident that even the toughest issues are capable of resolution.