Civil partnership dissolution

Ending a civil partnership is always a difficult time for all involved. Decisions need to be made about how each party can start to move forward on a practical footing, along with the emotional considerations that always accompany the end of a relationship. The right legal advice at this point can help to protect your rights and ensure that informed decisions can be made throughout the dissolution of the civil partnership. If you are also parents, you will need to make arrangements for your children that are in their best interests, and we can help you to achieve this by offering expert support at every stage of the process.

At Moore Barlow, our team of family law solicitors are known for providing expert legal advice on all aspects of civil partnership dissolution, helping you to achieve the best possible outcome from the situation. If you are part of a couple who wish to proceed with dissolving a civil partnership, some of the considerations that need to be settled can include:

  • The division of any assets, such as properties
  • Arranging separation agreements, financial orders and the final order dissolving the civil partnership.
  • Issues around children, such as residency, contact, maintenance arrangements and parenting decisions

It’s important that you seek expert legal advice as early in the process as possible if you are seeking to dissolve a civil partnership, to help protect your interests.

How to dissolve a civil partnership

The process of dissolving a civil partnership depends on your situation.

If you have been civil partners legally for more than a year, you will need a dissolution order from a court in order to legally end the union. For the order to be granted, it must be proven that the relationship has broken down irretrievably and on at least one of the below grounds.

  • Your partner has behaved unreasonably, in the eyes of the law
  • You and your partner have lived apart for at least two years and both agree to the dissolution
  • You and your partner have lived apart for at least five years, if only one of you wants to dissolve the partnership
  • Your partner deserted you at least two years ago

Is there a difference between dissolving a civil partnership and divorce?

Dissolving a civil partnership is very similar to the process of divorce, as both are legal ways to end a relationship. However, there are slight differences when it comes to applying to the court with grounds for civil partnership dissolution.

Adultery is not considered to be grounds for the dissolution of a civil partnership in the same way as it is for divorce. All other grounds for dissolution are the same as with divorce.

What counts as unreasonable behaviour when dissolving a civil partnership?

In simple terms, unreasonable behaviour is considered to be behaviour by your partner that means you can’t be expected to continue living with them. This can include:

  • Physical or verbal abuse towards you or your children
  • Mental or physical cruelty towards you or your children
  • Being financially irresponsible
  • Drunkenness

Other grounds for you to dissolve a civil partnership can rely upon periods of separation, (i.e. at least two years living apart if you both agree to the dissolution and five years living apart if your partner doesn’t agree to the dissolution).

How long does it take to dissolve civil partnerships?

The process of dissolving a civil partnership usually takes between 6 and 12 months, it can be longer, depending on your circumstances. If your partner does not agree with the dissolution, you may be required to wait for a period of time before applying for a dissolution order (up to five years of living apart). However, in the meantime, you could try and agree a separation agreement , which will help you to make the necessary arrangements from a legal and practical point of view, until a final dissolution order can be settled.

We can help you with either a separation agreement or a or a dissolution, to help you start the legal process that will mean you can start moving forward with your life.

Why choose Moore Barlow?

With our teams of family solicitors based in Southampton, Richmond and London, we can offer all of the expert legal support you need when it comes to dissolving your civil partnership. We’re known for our compassionate and understanding approach to these matters and have years of experience in helping people to dissolve civil partnerships and make the decisions they need to start moving on from what can be a very sad and emotional time. Contact us today for more information.

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