The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force in December 2005. The purpose of the Act is to enable same sex couples to obtain legal recognition of their relationship by registration of a civil partnership. Civil partners will assume legal rights and responsibilities with regard to each other and to third parties.
Civil partnership is a distinct institution with specific rights and responsibilities created by the Act. Forming a civil partnership will ensure the equality of treatment in a wide range of legal matters, for example, in relation to financial and child support responsibilities, employment and pension benefits. Therefore, civil partnership is similar to marriage in that it has important consequences in a wide range of areas including tax, inheritance, finance and children.
If a same sex couple decide to live with one another without going through the formalities of a civil partnership then they will enjoy none of the rights and benefits which are available under the Act. This may cause considerable hardship when one of the partners dies.
If the civil partnership breaks down then the Court can make orders dissolving the partnership, dividing the assets and making financial provision for the parties.
Entering into a civil partnership has major legal consequences for the parties involved. We would recommend that you take advice from one of our family team so that you know in advance what is involved and what steps you should be taking to protect your new partner.
For more infomation please contact one of the following:
|Patrick Langrishe||Partner||Budleigh Salterton|
|Mark Arden||Senior Solicitor||Crediton|
|Ida Merrison - currently on maternity leave||Solicitor & Family Mediator||Exeter|