If your entering into a civil partnership or are already in one then you need to be fully aware of all your rights regarding person, financial and legal aspects.
What is a civil partnership?
Only available to same sex couples, a civil partnership is the legal union of a couple.
In various ways civil partners are treated the same as married couple by law, including property rights, inheritance tax exemptions, social security and pension benefits.
A civil partner can also obtain parental responsibility for their partner’s child/children, which can also result in receiving next-of-kin and tenancy rights and related insurance.
How will my civil partnership differ from a marriage?
Legally, civil partners cannot refer to themselves as being “married”. The occasion can not be classed as a religious ceremony and it to be a civil event. Civil partners cannot obtain a divorce and any civil partnership can only be terminated by way of a dissolution order.
In most countries a marriage is recognised as legally binding, this is not the same for civil partnerships, therefore issues may arise when it comes to travelling or emigrating.
Can I register for a civil partnership?
As long as the criteria below is met, two people of the same sex can register a civil partnership:
- Both people are over the age of 16 (if under the age of 18 consent of a parent or legal guardian is required)
- They are not already in a legally recognised union, meaning they are not already married or in a civil partnership.
- They are not closely related.
Can I get my partner to sign something to protect my interests before entering my civil partnership?
Similar to the prenuptial agreement, the pre-civil partnership agreement is advisable to be entered into if you or your partner wish to protect your/their financial and/or property interests.
The Court will only vindicate the contract as long as it complies with strict guidelines which are put in place.
Our legally trained advisors are on hand to give you the advice you need before entering a legally binding pre-civil partnership agreement with your partner.
What are the legal issues I might face entering into a civil partnership?
Again this is where a civil partnership is similar to a marriage, the legal problems may include:
- Domestic abuse
- Dissolution of a civil partnership
- Finances and property after separation
- Child matters, such as custody or adoption
Joint finances and/or property issues are not automatically settled when dissolving a civil partnership and therefore they must be dealt with as separate matters.
Until the end of the union both partners have a legal responsibility to support each other, due to this a partner’s legal claim to the finances of another party will not end until the obtain an Order of Court relating to finances.
Depending on your’s and your partner’s circumstances there are different ways the issues regarding property can be solved. When reaching an agreement you should consider the assets both of you hold, resolving the problem may involve:
- Selling the property and sharing the equity
- Offsetting the equity in the property against other assets
- Buying out your partner’s share or selling your share to your partner
- Reaching an agreement to buy the partner out at a later time.
Contact us today
If you require further help, advice, guidance or information regarding your civil partnership or entering into a civil partnership then contact us today.