Increasingly more people live with a partner before they are married or in some cases decide they do not want to get married at all. However this can cause complications. If a couple in a civil partnership split up what are their legal rights regarding child custody, property ownership and so forth? In this article we will offer a brief guide on the various issues around civil partnerships and what you need to be aware of.




The first thing to be aware of is that a civil partnership is an official process. While often associated with couples of the same sex it is something that anyone can do if they wish to commit to a long term relationship without necessarily getting married.


In order to be registered a couple has to give notice in person at the local registry office (there is normally a 15 day waiting period although there are some exceptions) and then sign a partnership document in front of two witnesses and a registrar.




Benefits of being in a civil partnership include:


  • Access to some state benefits including employment benefits
  • Inheritance tax benefits
  • Inherited tenancy agreements
  • The ability to apply for parental responsibility for a partner’s children


Ending a partnership


Sadly as with marriage some couples may choose to end their civil partnership. In order to do this, a couple needs to ask the court for either a dissolution order (this requires a wait of at least 12 months) or a separation order (no wait is required). Alternatively as with marriage you can ask for the partnership to be annulled.


When ending a civil partnership remember to make financial arrangements and custody of any children. Anyone from outside the UK who ends a civil partnership risks losing their right to reside in the UK. It is also vital you inform your landlord/letting agent, benefit office or mortgage lender if you are ending your partnership.


We can help


As you can see civil partnerships can be beneficial but they do need a considerable amount of thought and organisation in order to be sure that all the issues involved (housing, childcare and so forth) are handled in the correct way. We understand that this can be potentially difficult which is why we always offer a sympathetic ear and do our best to make arrangements to suit your needs. For more information on the civil partnership services we offer at Larcomes please contact our team on 023 9244 8100.