Personal Law Services
Civil Partnerships and Disputes
The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force on 5 December 2005. The purpose of the Act is to enable same-sex couples to obtain legal recognition of their relationship by registration.
Same-sex couples acquire many of the legal rights and benefits enjoyed by married couples. However, the Act does not purport to create same-sex marriage. Nevertheless, in terms of the conditions dissolving a civil partnership and the legal consequences flowing from it, the Act adopts a model based closely on marriage.
A civil partnership may be dissolved by making an application for a Dissolution Order. No application for a Dissolution Order may be made before the end of the period of one year from registration.
An application for a Dissolution Order may be made by either party on the grounds that the civil partnership has broken down irretrievably. One or more of the following four facts must be established to prove this:-
- That a civil partner has behaved in such a way that the other cannot reasonably be expected to live with them.
- The civil partners have lived apart for a continuous period of at least two years immediately preceding the making of the application and both partners consent to the dissolution.
- The partners have lived apart for a continuous period of at least five years immediately preceding the making of the application.
- A civil partner has deserted the other partner for a continuous period of at least two years immediately preceding the making of the application.
Unlike divorce proceedings, adultery is not included as a separate fact. However, infidelity, which leads to the breakdown, may be regarded as unreasonable behaviour.
The Act includes provision for financial relief in relation to money, property or pensions which corresponds with that of married couples who divorce.
Where there are children involved, the Court is required to consider whether it should exercise any of its powers under the Children Act 1989. This provision is designed to safeguard the welfare of any children and provide for their upbringing.
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I was extremely happy with the way Marie handled my divorce. She made it a less painful experience than it may have otherwise been. I have recommended her to a colleague who I also think is very happy.
Marie kept me informed throughout a hard long winded case which was no fault of Clough & Willis. The case was concluded as quickly as possible with the least expense to me. Will use you again for sure.
Everything was very professional and quick. I would use Clough & Willis in the future, if needed.
My experience has been very positive, you are a great team! Always welcoming, always approachable and always efficient and professional. Marie supported me throughout a complex divorce and allowed me to do things in my own time and in my own way – this was important to me.
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Thank you for doing your job so well! We are really grateful for your knowledge, expertise and professionalism which definitely helped to make an awful situation move along as smoothly as it could.
It is always good to know that I have a trusted advisor when I need help in the future, especially someone like Lee with his sympathetic manner and understanding nature. Not forgetting his sense of humour.
Thank you very much Lee for your support, help and advice in such a traumatic period of time. You were so professional. Thanks to you and your team I can forget about the last ten years. The house has finally been sold and I can get on with my life. I can’t wait to see what happens next.