Civil Partnership Dissolution

JMW's family law solicitors specialise in civil partnership dissolution and we will guide you through the process, ensuring you secure the best possible outcome. We understand that going through a dissolution can be a very challenging and stressful time, which is why we are here to help you navigate your way through the process and to deal with any issues that may arise.

A dissolution can be especially difficult if there are children involved and the financial implications can be considerable. It is therefore essential that you have access to high quality legal advice at an early stage.

Speak to our team today about your civil partnership dissolution or any other aspect of civil partnership law by contacting us today. Simply call us on 0800 652 5577 or complete our online enquiry form and we will call you back as soon as we can.

What Our Clients Say

Civil Partnership Dissolution Explained

In order to end a civil partnership, the applicant must satisfy the court that the relationship has irretrievably broken down. This is 'proven' with reference to one of four 'facts':

  • One partner has behaved in such a way that the other cannot reasonably be expected to live with them, known as 'unreasonable behaviour'
  • You and your partner have lived apart for more than two years, and both now agree to the dissolution
  • You and your partner have been separated for more than five years (no agreement is necessary)
  • Desertion (rarely used in practice)

A civil partnership cannot be dissolved on the basis of adultery. However, forming an intimate relationship with another person would be recognised as a form of unreasonable behaviour, allowing the dissolution to proceed if either partner has been unfaithful.

Court decisions in cases of serious misconduct

A relationship can break down for many reasons. In most cases, the court will not take into account the parties' conduct (e.g. infidelity or unreasonable behaviour) when deciding the financial settlement that should be put in place. However, find out more about how the courts deal with those rare instances of severe financial or other misconduct here.

Financial Clean Break Order

If your civil partnership has broken down, a financial clean break order is one form of financial settlement that could help. For more information about financial clean break orders, click here.

Financial Consent Order

If you are dissolving a civil partnership, a financial consent order can help to set out the financial agreement reached. Find out more here.

Separation Agreements

A formal, written separation agreement is an alternative means for separating couples to agree on certain money matters if there are reasons why an immediate dissolution is either not possible or undesirable. Find out more about these types of agreements with our short guide to separation agreements here.


  1. Can you have a prenup before entering into a civil partnership?

    Yes. They are often referred to as pre-partnership agreements but are governed by the same laws.

  2. My ex-partner wants to move to another country with our children. I don't want them to go. Is there anything I can do?

    You should talk to a solicitor urgently to assess whether you need to take action straight away. If there is any chance of your children being taken out of the country against your wishes, whether lawfully or unlawfully, you need to take legal advice immediately. It is far easier to deal with the situation before the children have left than it is to attempt to get them back after they have gone.

    If you think there is a real risk that your ex-partner will try to take the children out of the country, you may need to act immediately to obtain court orders to prevent your ex from doing this, at least until the court has had the chance to look at the situation properly. If you are in any doubt, you should take urgent legal advice.

    If the situation is not urgent but your former partner does wish to move abroad with the children once he or she has the permission of the court, the judge dealing with your case will need to make a thorough investigation into whether a move is in the children's best interests. This will be the determining factor and the judge will look at all the circumstances before reaching a decision. These cases - often known as 'leave to remove' applications - can be very difficult because neither outcome can make both parents happy. Detailed case preparation is vital whether you are the parent who wishes to move abroad or the one who opposes a move. No two situations are identical and the court will look at everything from the relocation plan to the nature of the children's relationship with the parent who wishes them to stay.

    If you do not have parental responsibility for the children, your former partner can remove them from the country without your consent or the permission of the court. You will therefore need to take the initiative and apply to the court if you wish to oppose a move abroad.

Why Choose JMW?

The family law solicitors at JMW are happy to provide initial advice and guidance on civil partnership dissolution and any related financial matters or issues relating to children that you may be concerned about.

We are approachable, pragmatic and known for providing straightforward, no-nonsense advice to give you the very best chance of securing the outcome you are after.

Talk to Us

Find out more about how we can help with any aspect of civil partnership dissolution by getting in touch today. Simply call us on 0800 652 5577 or by completing our online enquiry form, which will enable us to give you a call back at a time convenient for you. 

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London Family Law

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