Registering a Civil Partnership
Same-sex couples who wish to have their relationship recognised legally can register a civil partnership.
Civil partners must be treated the same as married couples on a wide range of legal matters, including:
- tax, including Inheritance Tax
- employment benefits
- most state and occupational pension benefits
- income-related benefits, tax credits and child support
- their duty to provide reasonable maintenance for their civil partner and any children of the family
- ability to apply for parental responsibility for their civil partner’s child
- inheritance of tenancy agreements
- protection from domestic violence
- immigration and nationality purposes
The process for a homosexual couple registering a civil partnership is largely the same as that of marriage.
Any homosexual couple can register a civil partnership as long as they meet the following criteria:
- both are 16 or over (those aged 16 or 17 will need written consent from their parents or guardians)
- Both have lived in the same area of England or Wales for at least the last seven days
- Neither partner is already married or in another civil partnership
- The couple are not blood-related
A civil partnership can take place at any register office in England or Wales or any other council-approved marriage venue. It is illegal on the grounds of discrimination for any venue that hold civil marriages to refuse to host
Notice of a civil partnership must be given beforehand in the same way as marriage.
A civil partnership is legally formed by the signing of the civil partnership schedule.This must be done by both partners in the presence of two witnesses.
Ending a civil partnership
A civil partnership can only come to an end if one of the parties dies, or an application is made to court to annul it. You cannot apply to end a civil partnership until a year after it was registered.