In June 2018, The Supreme Court rules that restrictions on same-sex civil partnerships was a breach of human rights.
What is a Civil Partnership?
This is a legally recognised relationship between two people which until recent regulations, only applied to same-sex couples over the age of 16 under the Civil Partnership Act 2004. As a result of the Supreme court ruling, Regulations came into force on 02 December 2019 which amended The Civil Partnership Act 2004 basic definition of civil partnership to enable opposite-sex couples to form a civil partnership by registering as civil partners under the law of England and Wales.
What Option is Best for you?
Until 2014, same-sex marriage was not legal therefore civil partnerships were a way for same-sex couples to have their relationships legally recognised and enjoy the same benefits as married couples in terms of parental rights, tax benefits, inheritance, pensions etc…
Civil partnerships may be preferable for those who do not identify with a particular religious faith unlike marriage which is often referenced to a religious ceremony. The actual civil partnership ceremony itself is much simpler as the parties just sign the civil partnership document and it becomes legally recognised. Married couples are known as ‘Wife’ or ‘Husband’ whereas in a civil partnership the parries are known as ‘Civil Partners’.
Another key difference is that if the relationship comes to an end, the Husband or Wife can obtain a divorce on the following 5 reasons: Adultery (sexual relationship with someone of the opposite sex). Unreasonable behaviour, 2 years separation with consent, 5 years separation and desertion. Civil partners would have to apply to have their relationship dissolved and can only rely on the reasons of Unreasonable behaviour, 2 years separation with consent, 5 years separation and desertion.
You may decide that you do not wish to marry or enter a civil partnership but would like to live with your partner. You can instead consider having a cohabitation agreement which would clarify the basis upon which you are living together. This document, however, will not offer you the same legal rights as to civil partners or a married couple but may provide the court assistance if a civil dispute arose.
How can HMG Law Help You?
At HMG Law we have experienced Family Lawyers who can offer you the appropriate guidance and assistance to effectively deal with your relationship matters.
For new clients, we offer an initial fixed fee consultation with one of our family solicitors for a fee of £120 plus VAT.
Please telephone Christina Cree or Irrum Shah at Bicester 01869 252244 or at Oxford on 01865 244661.