What is the Difference Between Civil Partnership and Marriage Breakdown?

19 Sep 2017

We live in an era where people who decide to co-habitat can do without any problems, and thankfully by and large, we live in a tolerant country, where many laws have been put in place to protect our liberal society. One of the greatest advancements in the past generation has been the legal framework of civil partnerships, allowing same sex couples the same rights as civil marriage. It is also worth bearing in mind that it is just over a decade ago that civil partnerships were enshrined in law and, of course, now since 2014 same-sex couples can marry.

Some civil partners have decided to marry, whilst others are happy with the civil partnership arrangement. It is a far cry from the lack of protection same sex couples had a short time ago. However, like all close relationships, sometimes things do not work out as those entering a life together would hope.

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Therefore, experts in civil partnership breakdown in London are much needed to deal with the delicate legal and emotional issues that come from such a sad turn of events. If you are in a civil partnership and the relationship breaks down, you can apply to the court for the partnership to be dissolved. You will, under law receive the same entitlements as a spouse who gets divorced, and can apply for financial provision.

Dissolution of a civil partnership mirrors that of divorce, although different legal terminology is used. For instance, the equivalent of a petition for divorce is known as an “application for dissolution”. A decree nisi is known as a “conditional (dissolution) order”.

If your civil partnership breaks down, you can apply to the court for the partnership to be dissolved, but you cannot do so until the first anniversary of the civil partnership. You can apply for financial provision by way of lump sum, property transfer, maintenance and pension sharing orders.  Also, financial provision can also be applied for in respect of any child or children of the family.

However, one difference between dissolution and divorce is that adultery is not a ground for dissolution. This is because the definition of adultery specifies a sexual relationship between a man and a woman to qualify. If your partner has been unfaithful, then this would fall under the ‘unreasonable behaviour’ ground for dissolution.

Other grounds applicable to divorce remain available to those in civil partnerships. These are:

  • Desertion for a period of two years or more.
  • Two years’ separation, with the partner’s consent.
  • Five years’ separation, without the partner’s consent.

So, as you can see in same sex relationships, protection is there to help couples move on as best as possible. We hope this article has helped those of you in same sex relationships whose relationship may be in difficulty. If you wish to know more and talk to divorce solicitor, we at Pindoria Solicitors are happy to help. 

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