Opposite sex civil partnerships by New Year's Eve

8th April 2019 Family Law

The Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Act 2019 became law on 26 March 2019. Amongst other things, it paves the way for opposite sex couples to enter into civil partnerships as an alternative to marriage. This legislative change corrects the discrimination identified in the Supreme Court case of R v Keidan and Steinfeld (2018) in which an opposite sex couple mounted a successful judicial review against the decision to prevent them from entering into a civil partnership.

But don’t go rushing down to the register office just yet. The way the legislation is drafted (section 2 if you’re interested) allows the Secretary of State to bring in regulations that will facilitate opposite sex civil partnerships without having to go back through Parliament. This has to be done by 31 December 2019.

Apparently the government is planning to consult before making the regulations. It is likely to be a highly popular consultations and we may even see the website crash ahead of the deadline as we did when the government consulted on the reform of the Gender Recognition Act. Timescales are tight and the government is generally a bit busy right now.. the relevant department really does need to sharpen its pencils and get drafting!

To discuss this or any related family law question with our team please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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Katie Lowe is a Partner located in Manchesterin our Family department

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