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Ending a civil partnership

The processing of ending a civil partnership is known as dissolution. Before you can apply you must have been in a civil partnership for a year. 

Just as people in a civil partnership benefit from the same rights as married couples in terms of tax benefits, pensions and inheritance; ending a civil partnership provides the same entitlements as a spouse who gets divorced.

As with divorce proceedings, dissolving a civil partnership is completed by the court. As part of the process you can apply for financial provision by way of lump sum, property transfer, maintenance and pension sharing orders. 

Financial provision can also be applied for in respect of any child or children of the family. 

Grounds for dissolution

A condition for ending a civil partnership is that the relationship has irretrievably broken down due to four grounds: 

Unreasonable behaviour

Desertion for a period of two years or more

Two years’ separation, with the partner’s consent

Five years’ separation, without the partner’s consent

Unlike divorce, you cannot use the grounds of adultery as the legal definition states that a sexual relationship between a man and a woman is required in order to qualify. If your partner has been unfaithful, then this would fall under the ‘unreasonable behaviour’ ground for dissolution.

Stages of dissolution

To begin you must complete the dissolution petition form (available online here).  This is then sent to the nearest court that deals with civil partnerships. 

The next stage is a conditional order which is a document that states there is no reason why your civil partnership should not be dissolved. 

Applying for a final order is the final stage as this document officially ends your civil partnership.

If the court is satisfied that things have been done properly, the final order will be granted.

Get in touch

Our expert team of divorce and family lawyers will guide you through your civil partnership dissolution. 

We frequently work with clients to dissolve civil partnerships and will advise you on the most effective and efficient process for you, taking your circumstances into account.

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