Copyright Moore Barlow LLP (Moore Blatch and Barlow Robbins merged May 2020)

I am in a civil partnership, can I get divorced?

The most frequently asked questions from our clients in a civil partnership.

Can you get divorced from a civil partnership?

A civil partnership can be ended in a similar way to marriage but instead of divorce it is called dissolution.

On what grounds can I dissolve my civil partnership?

A civil partnership can be dissolved on the ground that it has irretrievably broken down by relying on one of the following facts:

  • Your partner has behaved unreasonably;
  • You have lived separately for at least two years and you both agree to dissolve the civil partnership;
  • You have lived separately for at least five years;
  • Your partner has deserted you.

Are there any differences between ending a civil partnership and ending a marriage?

There is only one key difference, civil partnerships cannot be annulled on the basis of non-consummation and cannot be dissolved on the basis of adultery unlike marriages. There are also some differences in the terminology used during court proceedings

My partner has cheated on me by having an affair; can I dissolve my civil partnership?

You can rely on the fact that your partner has behaved unreasonably by having an affair in order to prove that the civil partnership has irretrievably broken down.

Why can’t I rely on my partner’s adultery to end our civil partnership?

Adultery cannot be relied upon to bring a civil partnership to an end but instead it can fall within what the court would consider to be unreasonable behaviour.

How do I begin to dissolve my civil partnership?

The first step can differ from couple to couple; some may wish to explore reconciliation while others may be ready to make a court application to dissolve their civil partnership. It is always useful for both partners to first take independent legal advice so they become familiar with the procedures involved and the paperwork that must be completed.

How do I sort out issues in relation to our home, savings and other assets when our civil partnership is dissolved?

The finances can be dealt with before, during and even after the civil partnership has ended. It is usually better to deal with this aspect as soon as possible. In the course of dissolving the civil partnership, an agreement over the finances can be negotiated and ratified by the court or if necessary the court can determine these issues.

How do I sort out issues in relation to the children when our civil partnership is dissolved?

Issues in relation to the children, such as who they live with and how much time they spend with each of you, can also be dealt with before, during and even after the civil partnership has ended. These issues are dealt with under separate court proceedings from the dissolution of the civil partnership but in the first instance, an agreement can be reached directly with the other party if possible.

If you need legal advice, contact Sahil Aggarwal in our Richmond office. T: 020 8332 8675 or email: Sahil.Aggarwal@mooreblatch.com 


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