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Civil Partnerships

At Banner Jones we provide advice on civil partnerships and your civil partnership rights.

Civil Partnerships are for adult same sex couples who are not in existing registered partnerships or marriage and are not closely related. Couples who register have legal status as “registered civil partners” and acquire a package of civil partnership rights and responsibilities in the same way as a married couple.

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Frequently Asked Questions

He's got to keep a roof over our heads hasn't he?

Non-residential parents have to pay maintenance for their children; hopefully the amount can be agreed though negotiation and if not then the CSA will decide. Each case is different.   If for example the Mum and the children stay in the family home then she may relinquish her claims over any other assets such as pension and savings in return.

How soon can I file for Divorce?

There is a 12 month barring rule which means you can start the divorce process after being married for 1 year. In England you can get divorced if your marriage has broken down irretrivably, usually proved by allegations of adultery or unreasonable behaviour, or if there has been 2 years' of continously living apart.

My aunt only has one bank account. Can I deal with this on her behalf?

If the bank allows, it is possible for your aunt to name you as a third party on her bank account. This will allow you to withdraw funds and sign cheques on her behalf. We can help your aunt complete the mandate form required to put this in place.

What am I entitled to in a divorce? Can she take me for every penny?

No.  Sometimes it may feel as though this has happened. The aim when sharing out matrimonial assets is to be fair.  Both spouses have to make full disclosure about their assets and debts before any decisions can be made about distribution, trying to hide anything won't work.  Factors which are important when sharing out the assets include the current and future needs of each spouse and any dependent children; the length of marriage and the age, earning capacity and contributions of each party.

Will I lose touch with my children?

Your aim should be that both parents still play an active part in the raising of the child/children.  Usually parents sort this out amongst themselves, although if there are problems mediation can be a good way to resolve this.  Going to Court should always be the last resort where children are involved.

Will we have to go to Court during our divorce?

No, getting a divorce should be an administrative excersise only and there are many options open to you that avoid going to Court.

Can I make financial claims against my civil partner if the Civil Partnership is brought to a conclusion?

Civil partners can make claims against each other’s finances in the same way that heterosexual married couples can.  If there are financial issues stemming from your separation and dissolution of the civil partnership you will need to take further detailed advice and we recommend that you contact one of the family team who can give you specific advice in relation to this complex area of law.

How do I end my Civil Partnership?

Bringing the civil relationship to an end involves the similar process to having a divorce. A petition is filed asking that the partnership should be brought to a conclusion and showing that the civil partnership has definitely come to an end.  The petition will need to be lodged with a County Court that specifically deals with dissolving civil partnerships.

What basis can the Civil Partnership be ended by the court?

The court will accept similar grounds to prove that the civil partnership has come to an end as those of divorcing couples.  The ground for dissolution is that the relationship has broken down irretrievably shown by the following facts:-

  1. Either that your civil partner’s behaviour has been so unreasonable you can no longer bear to live with him or her;
  2. That you or your civil partner have lived apart for at least two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition and your partner agrees to a dissolution;
  3. That you and your civil partner have lived apart for at least five years prior to the presentation of the petition and the partner’s consent is not required, or;
  4.  Your civil partner has deserted you.

For a desertion petition you will need to have been apart for two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition.

What happens if my Civil Partnership does not work?

If the Civil Partnership breaks down then you can apply to the court to have the civil partnership brought to an end after you have been together as civil partners and in a civil partnership for at least one year. This is known as a Dissolution.

What if there are children involved in the Civil Partnership?

Following a dissolution we can apply to the Courts for orders regarding children issues including residence, contact order and financial provision. See our Children page for more details.


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Kelly Parks
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