The Office of National Statistics (ONS) have provisionally released figures that show the number of Civil Partnership dissolutions granted in England and Wales in 2012 have increased by 20% since 2011.
The 2012 statistics also show that there has been a slight increase of 3.6% in the number of civil partnerships since 2011.
Next year statistics may show a trend towards more same sex couples deciding to marry rather than entering into civil partnerships once the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill comes into force. This legislation will allow same sex couples to marry in England and Wales for the first time.
A civil partnership is dissolved by a court order where either partner successfully alleges that the relationship has broken down and one of the following four conditions is satisfied:
- that the other partner has behaved unreasonably;
- that the parties have been separated for two years and it is agreed that the partnership should be dissolved;
- that one partner has deserted the other for two years; or
- that the parties have been separated for five years.
These conditions are identical to the grounds required for Divorce for heterosexual married couples with the exception that on the dissolution of a civil partnership it is not possible to rely on a finding of adultery.
To obtain dissolution of a civil partnership at least 12 months must have passed from the date the civil partnership was registered.
Upon issuing a petition for dissolution of a civil partnership the court also has the power to consider Finances on Separation. The court can make financial provision orders in relation to property, other assets, pensions and income. There may also be issues relating to Children that need to be considered.
By Family Law Solicitor Amy Harris.
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