In the UK, the civil partnership act of 2004 came into effect, oddly, in December 2005, and it enabled same-sex couples to obtain legal recognition of their partnership or relationship. This ruling has since been extended to include opposite-sex couples but has received a bit of confusion as to how it differs from a regular wedding and how you may go about ending it. Surely, divorce is not how you end a civil partnership, is it?

However, because a civil partnership covers many of the same areas as traditional marriages and divorce, such as assets and children, if you are ready to get into a civil partnership, you may want to know how the process is legally ended if it ever comes to that.

At Prentice Family Law, our divorce solicitors in Guildford are experts in dissolving civil partnerships and will always aim to make the process as straightforward as possible for you and your partner. It is worth noting that you and your partner will receive the same rights as you would if you had divorced from traditional marriage, and we will always aim to ensure that your legal rights are met.

So, without further ado, in this article, our divorce solicitors in Guildford aim to answer common questions that we receive from our clients concerning the dissolution of a civil partnership.

When can I dissolve my civil partnership?

Much like traditional marriage, you can dissolve your civil partnership when you have been in it for at least a year. According to our divorce solicitors in Guildford, you and your civil partner must be habitually residing in Wales or England for this to apply.

How do I dissolve my civil partnership?

Unlike traditional marriage, there is only one basis for the dissolution of a civil partnership: its irretrievable breakdown. You can apply for dissolution on your own or with your partner. You must file a civil partnership dissolution application and a certified copy of the civil partnership certificate, and you will also need to pay a court fee.

Can my partner defend the dissolution?

Much like a no-fault divorce, a dissolution of a civil partnership can only be defended in rare circumstances and on technical grounds. Your partner cannot simply refuse to go along with the dissolution of a civil partnership due to emotive issues; this is why it is essential to seek legal advice during this process to ensure that all of the technicalities are met.

How long will it take?

When you apply for a civil partnership dissolution, the court will send copies of the papers to your former partner, and you must both acknowledge this process. These documents must be signed and returned, and once the documents have been received by the court, 20 weeks will need to pass from the date of application. You can then make an application for the conditional order, and 6 weeks after this, you can apply for the final order, which will dissolve the civil partnership.

What happens if we have children?

It is hoped that you and your partner can make an amicable arrangement about any children you have; if this is not possible, then either party will need to make an application to the court for a child arrangement order.