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Civil Partnership Act 2004

Civil Partnership Act 2004


The Civil Partnership Act 2004 was introduced in December 2005 to enable same-sex couples to make a legal commitment to each other.


A Civil Partnership can only end when it is dissolved, annulled or when one party dies.


Civil Partnerships can also apply to same-sex couples where one party is not a British national or lives overseas like an international marriage.


The actual ceremony involved in a Civil Partnership is also similar to marriage and requires a Civil Partnership registrar to officiate at a ceremony at a venue licensed to hold Civil Partnership Ceremonies, with two witnesses who sign the register afterwards.


The Act also sets out who is eligible to form a Civil Partnership and prohibits Civil partnerships where:

  • parties are not of the same-sex
  • either party is already a civil partner or lawfully married
  • either party is under 16 (parental consent is required in these cases)
  • parties are within prohibited degrees of relationship (e.g. close blood relatives)


There are also rules for special cases involving Civil Partnerships, including Civil Partnership where:

  • one party is terminally ill or housebound
  • one party has undergone gender re-alignment
  • one party is subject to immigration controls
  • one party is non-resident.


Because of the complexities of forming Civil Partnerships, it is important to take expert legal advice beforehand.


Duncan Lewis solicitors offer expert and detailed legal advice to same-sex couples on issues relating to the Civil Partnership Act, including legal advice on housing issues and maintenance implications involved in dissolution of a Civil Partnership as well as division of financial assets such as pensions and investments and advice on child care law.


Duncan Lewis can also advise on pre-Civil Partnership agreements between couples before they form a Civil Partnership, to make sure that assets and property are protected and children are provided for if the Civil Partnership should end.


Duncan Lewis also has successful departments specialising in family and children law and litigation, able to advise on the various issues involved in Divorce and ending Civil partnerships as well as how to ensure a settlement after ending a Civil Partnership best suits your future needs and those of any children.


Duncan Lewis can also advise on alternatives to costly court proceedings in disputes involving dissolution of a Civil Partnership, including dispute resolution and lawyers supported family mediation.


Fixed Fee Legal Advice on Civil Partnership Act 2004


Duncan Lewis offers same-sex couples a fixed fee for dissolving a Civil Partnership and if required an initial fixed fee to discuss any issues which are the subject of dispute i.e., financial matters ancillary to the dissolution of the Civil Partnership. All other work will be dealt with by way of competitive hourly rates.


In cases where there is evidence of domestic violence and/or domestic violence involving children, or child protection matters involving Social Services, it is usually possible to apply for Legal Aid to cover the cost of legal fees.


For expert legal advice on the Civil Partnership Act 2004 and related family matters, call Duncan Lewis Solicitors in confidence on 033 3772 0409.

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