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

If you have been civil partners legally for more than a year, you will need a dissolution order from a court to legally end the union. You can apply to dissolve your civil partnership either jointly with your partner or through your own individual application, and all applications are made on the ground that the relationship has broken down irretrievably. It is no longer necessary for either party to be at fault for the application to proceed, nor can a party contest the application once made on the basis that they do not wish to dissolve the partnership.

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. There can be minor technical differences in relation to jurisdiction that may apply, however these must be considered in the context of each individual situation.

How long does it take to get a civil partnership dissolved?

The process of dissolving a civil partnership usually takes between 6 and 12 months, it can be longer, depending on your circumstances.

If circumstances are such that this timescale feels unworkable, you could try and agree a separation agreement in the first instance, 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.

Decisions involving children or financial arrangements during civil partnership dissolution

Decisions involving children or financial arrangements during a civil partnership dissolution can often be of concern. However, being able to settle these issues without a court hearing is usually preferable for everyone involved. To achieve this, we recommend you take specialist advice from our civil partnership lawyers who have vast experience in dealing with such matters.

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.

With offices in LondonRichmondSouthamptonGuildfordLymington and Woking, our expert team offer specialist support to clients nationwide. Contact us today for more information.

Civil partnership dissolution FAQs

A civil partnership is a legal relationship that is available to both same sex couples and opposite sex couples and means the relationship is recognised from a legal standpoint, in a similar way to marriage. This provides more legal protections for the couple than if they simply live together.

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

A civil partnership can only be dissolved on the ground that it has irretrievably broken down.

There is only one key difference, civil partnerships cannot be annulled based on non-consummation. There are also some differences in the terminology used during court proceedings.

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.

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.

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.