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Since June 2018 civil partnerships have been legally valid for not just same sex couples but opposite sex couples.  Prior to this, in 2004 it was only legal for these types of arrangements to be in place for same sex couples.  Thankfully the world is moving forward, in that Scotland have recently followed England’s example in allowing opposite sex civil partnerships.

A common question arises when considering whether or not to enter into a civil partnership or to instead look to marry. 

Whilst there isn’t a huge amount of differences between the two, there are some significant differences. With regard to the actual event, a marriage must involve a marriage ceremony whereas a civil partnership can be conducted purely on paper without any ceremony if the couple desires that.

If a couple are potentially moving abroad, whilst marriages are widely recognised across the world, civil partnerships in some countries, such as Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia to name a few, do not recognise these partnerships.

When it comes to the unfortunate breakdown of either a civil partnership or a marriage one person, if they are in a civil partnership, will need to apply for a civil partnership dissolution and if they are in a marriage they will need to apply for a divorce.  The grounds for divorce are adultery, unreasonable behaviour, separation with consent after two years, separation without consent after five years or desertion after two years.  These same grounds are available for civil partnerships, except for adultery.

It may be the case that as the new provisions are brought in with regard to no fault divorce in April of next year that civil partnerships move in the same way.

In the meantime, the team at FDR are here and available to advise you with regard to both civil partnership dissolution and divorce.  Call one of us today on 01925 230000.