Civil Partnerships Solicitors
All couples - opposite or same sex - have the choice whether to marry or enter into a civil partnership. If you are in a relationship and are thinking about entering into a civil partnership and would like to know more about your legal rights, JMW can help.
Likewise, if you are considering entering into a pre-partnership agreement, we can help you easily make sense of the content, effect and enforceability of any agreement you make. We can also help with the dissolution of a civil partnership if your relationship has broken down.
To speak to a member of our team today, contact us by either calling us on 0345 872 6666 or completing our online enquiry form, which will enable us to give you a call back at a convenient time. We can discuss your situation in more detail and tell you more about the options available to you.
Legal Status of Civil Partners
Couples who enter into a civil partnership are subject to broadly the same rights and responsibilities as married couples. Civil partners may, however, have slightly different rights to a survivors’ pension after the death of one of them. This is a highly complex area of the law on which there have been recent court rulings, so specialist advice should be taken if you are in any doubt as to your legal position.
In the event that a civil partnership breaks down, the legal and financial consequences would be the same as if the couple were married and getting divorced, aside from some minor technical differences in the documentation required by the court.
Civil partnerships and same sex marriages (including conversions from civil partnerships) are not recognised uniformly in every country of the world. If you are considering moving overseas, you should take legal advice on what the position would be in the relevant country. This is particularly important if you have or are planning to have children as it may affect their status in the overseas country.
Converting a Civil Partnership into a Marriage
Same sex couples who are already in a civil partnership can convert their civil partnership into a marriage and receive a marriage certificate, without bringing the civil partnership to an end. This option is currently only open to same sex couples.
The process of conversion is relatively straightforward and the first step is to contact your local register office or visit their website. The conversion can take place at either a register office or religious or other approved premises where same sex marriages are allowed to marry.
The style of the occasion is very much a matter of choice for the couple; it can be as simple as attending an appointment together at the local register office and signing a conversion into marriage declaration, or a ceremony can be held to mark the conversion with family and friends joining the couple to celebrate the occasion - although there is no requirement for witnesses.
A fee currently set at £45 will be charged to convert a civil partnership into a marriage. If a ceremony is to take place, the cost will be a matter for the venue chosen by the couple, plus a £27 fee for the appointment. £11 will be charged for the marriage certificate provided to the couple after the conversion. The date on the marriage certificate will be the date on which their civil partnership was formed.