Civil Partnerships

Civil Partnership Dissolution

If you’ve entered into a Civil Partnership and are separating, the process is very similar to that for divorce. A Civil Partnership can only end on death, dissolution or annulment.  This can be a stressful and emotional time and it is advisable to seek professional advice and to avoid costly court proceedings where possible. 

We work with your to ensure that you understand the process and your options and that we understand your priorities. Our aim is to minimise any stress and achieve the best possible outcome for you. If children are involved then this will obviously be a major consideration and you may wish to also take a look at our Child Maintenance and Children Arrangements pages.

We can provide you with a fixed fee for this service so you will know exactly what costs you will need to pay.

To arrange a FREE initial consultation to discuss the best way forward for you, please contact us on 0208 974 7490 or and we will then provide you with further and specific advice tailored to your circumstances.

If you are unable to attend meetings at our offices or during regular office hours, we can usually arrange a home or out of hours appointment.

Dissolution of a Civil Partnership – Further Information

An application for a dissolution of the civil partnership cannot be made in the first year after the registration.

The drafting of a petition.

Conditional and final Orders are made (which are akin to the Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute in divorce proceedings).

The only ground for dissolution of a civil partnership is that the relationship has broken down irretrievably which has to be proved by one of four facts.  These are the same for divorce except that civil partners cannot rely on adultery as a fact.  This however does not prevent a civil partner from citing sexual infidelity as a reason for the breakdown of the relationship in the context of the other civil partner’s unreasonable behaviour.

The process takes around 6 months, but it is usual not to finalise the dissolution until a financial agreement has been reached.

Financial claims


In the same way that on divorce married couples have substantial rights and obligations, those exist on dissolution of civil partnership. They include:-

an order for maintenance pending suit (interim maintenance);


a periodical payments order (on-going maintenance);


a secured provision order;


a lump sum order;


a property adjustment order (sale, transfer etc);


a pension sharing/attachment order.


As is the case with divorce, settlement of financial claims can be reached by way of mediation, voluntary negotiations, or following an application to the court.

Changes to Civil Partnerships from 2020 for mixed-sex couples

As of the last day of 2019, mixed-sex couples are now able to form civil partnerships, formally only available to same-sex couples. 

The Supreme Court ruled last year that civil partnerships were discriminatory, and breached mixed-sex couples’ right to family and private life.

Many cohabiting couples believe that they are protected in respect of asset distribution on breakdown under so called “common law marriages”. However, cohabiting couples do not enjoy the same rights as those who are married or have entered into a civil partnership. It is understood that many cohabiting mixed-sex couples who have not wanted to get married, may seek to acquire those rights by entering into a civil partnership.

If you wish to seek advice regarding this area of law, please contact our Family Law team on 0208 974 7490 and ask to speak to Andrew Perryman, Zubair Dharamsi, or Dimitra Pantopoulou.

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Andrew Perryman

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Zubair Dharamsi

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Dimitra Pantopoulou

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