Civil partnerships

You can apply to end your civil partnership if you’ve been in the partnership for over a year. The procedure for a Civil Partnership Dissolution is similar to that of a divorce. A civil partnership ends when a Dissolution Order is granted (rather than a Decree Absolute).

Just like married couples, if you don’t want to end your civil partnership permanently, you have the option of a legal separation. You can apply for separation during the first year of your civil partnership.

Grounds for ending a civil partnership

Reasons for ending a civil partnership are very similar to those in divorce, with 1 exception: Adultery cannot be used.

The full grounds for dissolution of a civil partnership are:

  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion for 2 years
  • Separation for 2 years (with the respondent’s consent)
  • Separation for 5 years (no consent)

The process of dissolving a civil partnership

It is similar to divorce proceedings, in that there are key things you need to do to end your civil partnership.

  • Apply to Court to ask for permission to end your civil partnership
  • Arrangements and maintenance for children
  • Division of money and property

Like divorcing couples, you’re encouraged to have agreement on the last two between yourselves, and ask the Court to turn the solicitors’ documents into a Court Order. You’re also encouraged to use mediation rather than take it to Court.

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