Civil partnerships

What are they?

A civil partnership is a ‘marriage’ between two people of the same sex.  It gives the couple legal recognition, enabling them to obtain rights similar to those enjoyed by heterosexual couples who are married.

Civil partners have equal treatment to married couples in a wide range of legal matters, including:

  • tax, including inheritance tax.
  • employment benefit.
  • most state and occupational pension benefits.
  • income related benefits, tax credits and child support.
  • duty to provide reasonable maintenance for your civil partner and any children of the family.
  • ability to apply for parental responsibility for your civil partner’s child.
  • inheritance of a tenancy agreement.
  • recognition under intestacy rules.
  • access to fatal accidents compensation.
  • protection from domestic violence.
  • recognition for immigration and nationality purposes.


What happens when the relationship breaks down?

You can apply to the court for a separation order or a dissolution order.

The Civil Partnerships Act became law in December 2005, allowing same sex couples to have their relationship legally recognised.  There are, however, many anomalies when it comes to matters relating to children conceived in a civil partnership.

Since a civil partnership gives same sex couples the same legal rights as their married heterosexual counterparts, when the relationship breaks down it requires formal legal proceedings to end the agreement between the couple.  To do this, one of the parties must file a petition with the court, requesting civil partnership dissolution. This is a process very similar to the divorce process.

It is important that all financial and children elements of your relationship are considered.

For further advice or to arrange your free initial consultation please contact Rachel, Amanda, Kathryn or Jonathon on Plymouth 01752 668246 or send an email by clicking here.

Rachel Shoheth
Amanda Lyons
Kathryn Akintunde
Jonathon Yates