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Civil Partnership Law

The Civil Partnership Act allows same-sex couples to register their relationships under the Civil Partnership Act.. Registering a Civil Partnership relationship provides the couple with a range of rights and responsibilities akin to marriage.

Same-sex couplers have, in the past, always been denied the right to formalise their relationship (and this included denying them the various tax and other advantages given to married couples, such as rights over pensions, insurance and inheritance).  Increasingly, throughout the Old and New Worlds, same-sex couples have been given either the right to marry or the right to enter into a form of registered partnership, which gives some or all of the rights of married couples.

After consultation, the United Kingdom decided to give same-sex couples the right to enter into a form of registered partnership to be known as Civil Partnership.

Shepherd Harris & Co Solicitors in Enfield are experienced Civil Partnership solicitors. We have expertise in all areas of Civil Partnership matters including the formation and dissolution of Civil Partnership / Civil Partnership divorce.

Civil Partnership Key Facts…

  • Civil Partners have similar rights to married couples in relation to capital gains tax and inheritance tax, wills and inheritance law, pensions, insurance, housing and immigration.
  • Civil Partnership is only available to same-sex couples; on the basis that mixed sex couples are able to acquire such rights through marriage.
  • In the same way that certain close relations such as parents and children and siblings are not permitted to marry, same-sex couples may not register a Civil Partnership if their relationship has too close a degree of affinity.
  • Certain overseas relationships such as a Canadian same-sex marriage are recognised in the UK as a Civil Partnership. Others such as a Dutch mixed sex registered partnership are not recognised.

Civil Partnership Key Considerations…

Shepherd Harris & Co is one of the most expert Civil Partnership solicitors firms in Enfield. Our friendly and helpful team of solicitors have assisted many same-sex couples to register their Civil Partnership. We will be happy to take the time to explain both the benefits and particular consequences of registering a relationship in terms of how this benefits a couple during their relationship.

Similar to marriage, registration of a Civil Partnership has significance in the unfortunate event of relationship breakdown.

In this case, a Partnership can only be brought to an end by dissolution of Civil Partnership, by order of the court. It is important to note that the court has the same powers, as in the case of a divorce, to make orders in relation to financial matters and children. No application for dissolution of Civil Partnership can be made within the first year after registration.

Civil Partnership Additional Services…

When you are forming a Civil Partnership it is highly likely that there will be other additional elements of your legal/financial life that will also require review. The Civil Partnership solicitors at Shepherd Harris & Co have vast experience in advising and handling all of these aspects for same-sex couples.   For example:

  • Any existing documents such as wills and trusts, which refer to spouses, will not automatically include Civil Partners as beneficiaries. Wills - which are already automatically cancelled in England (but not other countries) by marriage - will also be cancelled in England by a Civil Partnership. Shepherd Harris & Co have a team of Wills and Probate solicitors who will be happy to assist you in the creation of a new Will, review your existing Will / any trust, and discuss the tax advantages and disadvantages of any changes you may make. Please contact Helen Phillips or Duncan Ritchie of our Wills and Probate department for further advice and guidance, or call 020 8363 8341
  • Civil Partnership and the Civil Partnership Act allows partners to acquire parental responsibility in respect of the children of the other partner.  Additionally, those who have registered a Civil Partnership will also be eligible to adopt as a couple. Our team of adoption solicitors will be very happy to assist you further in any adoption / parental responsibility matters. Georgina Hetherington or Tazeen Khaliq will be more than happy to assist you. Please call 020 8363 8341.
  • If you or any members of your family are contemplating a Civil Partnership, it is important that you should obtain advice as to the consequences of doing so. You may wish to discuss the likely financial consequences of registering the relationship, both in terms of how this will immediately affect you, and also to be informed of what is likely to happen if the relationship breaks down and the need arises for dissolution of Civil Partnership. We can give advice in relation to all of the various areas of law affected.

Next steps…

To request the assistance of our Civil Partnership solicitors and for advice on Civil Partnership dissolution / Civil Partnership divorce please contact one of our specialist family lawyers please contact Tazeen KhaliqGeorgina Hetherington for further information on 020 8363 8341. We look forward to assisting you.

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