According to the Civil Partnership Act 2004, since 21 December 2005 same-sex couples have the opportunity to register their relationship as a civil partnership, provided both partners are aged 16 or over.
The Act is groundbreaking in the United Kingdom, conferring upon registrants rights akin to those enjoyed by (heterosexual) married couples. It does not apply, however, to unmarried heterosexual cohabitees, nor does it confer any rights on unregistered same-sex couples. In at least these respects it falls short of what some had hoped would be put in place.
The registration process
Registration is a straightforward process akin to civil marriage. Couples are required to have lived in England or Wales for at least a week, and to have given at least 15 days’ notice of their desire to register and the time and place of their intended registration at a licensed location (which can be practically anywhere but religious premises). For all practical purposes, the signing of the register at the appointed moment before a registrar and two witnesses constitutes the registration of the partnership.
Your rights when registered
Once registered, the Act confers many rights, most of which apply when the relationship comes to an end on the death of one of the partners or by dissolution of the civil partnership. In the event of death, the Act confers on the surviving partner rights of succession to property and the right to claim provision from a deceased partner’s estate.
Contact our specialist family law team for legal advice on civil partnerships
Please call 0800 916 9055, or email email@example.com. Our family law solicitors operate across the country, and can offer immediate and accessible representation anywhere in England and Wales.
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