A civil partnership gives same-sex couples the same legal rights as their married heterosexual counterparts. This means that a couple entering into a civil partnership are entitled to draw up a pre-civil partnership agreement in the same way as a prenuptial agreement. It also means that if the partnership breaks down in the future, the couple must follow formal legal proceedings in order to separate legally. A civil partner may also be able to acquire parental responsibility of his or her civil partner’s child.
Pre-civil partnership agreements
If one or more party has property or investments that were in place before the relationship came about, they may choose to protect these assets in a formal agreement, which will need to be drawn up by a solicitor. Like prenuptial agreements, pre-civil partnership agreements are not currently legally binding, but when drawn up properly by a reputable solicitor, and signed by two consenting and intellectual adults, they are starting to carry much more weight in court.
Ending a civil partnership
In the event of your civil partnership breaking down, you must wait until at least one year after the date on which your civil partnership became legal before you can dissolve the partnership legally. The procedure is similar to that of a heterosexual divorce in that one of the parties must file a petition with the court to request the dissolution of the civil partnership. The petitioner must then prove that the civil partnership has broken down irretrievably.
There are no hard and fast rules regarding your financial rights in the breakdown of a relationship and the court will look at each particular situation individually. Matters can also be settled by way of a consent order or a court hearing.
Whether you’re considering entering into a civil partnership, or seeking advice in the dissolution of your civil partnership, our team of family lawyers in Barnet can help.
Get in touch with Jon Gilbert today to arrange a free 30 minute consultation.