Since 2004, it has been possible for couples in a same-sex relationship to be able to apply for and enter into a civil partnership. Civil partners have most of the same rights as a married couple in the UK, and in 2014, legislation was introduced that meant that same-sex couples could get married. From December 2014, it is also possible for couples to apply to have a civil partnership legally converted to a marriage.

Civil Partnerships And Marriages

Only same-sex couples can enter into a civil partnership, and although it is possible for gay couples to now get married, the civil partnership still exists and couples can still apply for this form of legal partnership. However, since regulations changed, many couples have applied to get married rather than enter into a civil partnership, and many couples who were already civil partners have now applied to convert their partnership to a marriage.

Grounds For Dissolution

Unfortunately, any marriage or civil partnership can break down irreparably. Whether it is because of desertion or unreasonable behaviour, it is possible to apply for civil partnership dissolution or for a divorce. However, there are some areas that are still not equal when comparing same-sex to opposite-sex relationships.

Adultery And Consummation

Legislation makers have been unable to define exactly what is considered consummation of a gay relationship, and this means that while it is possible to apply for divorce or annulment of an opposite-sex marriage for non-consummation or adultery, these grounds for divorce do not exist for couples in a gay marriage or civil partnership. Legislation may change in the future, but same-sex couples would currently have to apply for divorce under different grounds in order to have their application to file for divorce accepted. The most common route, in these instances, would be to use the grounds of unreasonable behaviour.

Separating From Your Partner

Strictly speaking, separation is not a legal consideration, and is just a matter of fact. It is not possible or necessary to apply for separation, but if the couple wishes for their marriage or partnership to be dissolved, then it will be necessary to apply to the courts. Although there has been talk of making the divorce process simpler for all couples, there is no immediate sign of this changing. Using a family law specialist will help ensure that your civil partnership can be dissolved sooner, and that your financial and child arrangements can be met sooner and without dispute.