Civil Partnership Dissolution

We ensure that you receive expert legal guidance on dissolution of your civil partnership, while being supportive of your emotional needs.

At RVS Solicitors, we ensure that those going through a dissolution of their civil partnership receive expert legal guidance, in a manner that is highly supportive of their emotional needs, and those of their children.

When it comes to matters involving children, finances, and property, avoiding court proceedings is highly desirable as litigation is often costly and can create further animosity between couples, who for the sake of the children, must strive to foster a respectful ongoing relationship.

As members of Resolution, a group of 6,500 family solicitors nationwide, we believe that alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation and round-table negotiation provide the best, long-lasting outcome for families.  By leveraging peaceful and non-confrontational negotiation methods, couples can reduce the overall stress and emotional upheaval experienced during a separation and make decisions that are rational and are in the best interests of everyone.

While we support non-confrontational approaches to bringing about agreements following a civil partnership dissolution, we also understand that sometimes court litigation cannot be avoided.  If this does happen, we will provide you with robust legal representation while being sensitive to the situation you and your children find yourselves in.

The service we offer to our clients is always tailored to their needs.  Based on your circumstances, we will adapt how we work to you.  And if you need us, we will be there to give reassurance, answer questions, and provide any legal advice you need.  Our easy availability is central to the service we provide, and while we may not always be immediately available to speak, we will return your call or correspondence as soon as practicably possible.

Our experts in Family Law

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

What are the legal grounds for the dissolution of a civil partnership?

As per the Civil Partnership Act 2004, civil partnerships are the legal union of a same-sex couple.  The criteria to be able to dissolve that partnership are broadly similar to that of divorce.  Firstly, the civil partnership must have been in place for 12-months or longer.  And secondly, the grounds for the dissolution are the same as divorce, namely that the relationship has ‘irretrievably broken down’ due to one of the following reasons:

  • Desertion
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Separation of more than two years – you can apply for divorce and your spouse must agree
  • Separation over more than five years – you can apply for divorce and your spouse does not need to agree

Civil partnerships have the same grounds for dissolution as divorce, except that adultery is not explicitly included.

What is the process for the dissolution of a civil partnership?

To dissolve a civil partnership, the steps are as follows:

  1. File a dissolution application with the court; this is a formal request to end your civil partnership. You will be required to provide the civil partnership certificate and the addresses of both you and your civil partner.  You will also need to pay an application pay to the court.  RVS Solicitors can complete and handle the process of completing the dissolution application for you and provide you with expert legal advice and a complete understanding of the process in a caring and supportive manner.
  2. If you partner agrees to the dissolution, then a ‘conditional order’ can be applied for. If your partner does not agree to the dissolution, you will still be able to pursue a conditional order, however, you will be required to attend court to discuss your case with a judge. The judge, based on your reasoning, will then grant or decline the conditional order.  We can guide you through this process, providing you with the knowledge and support you need to complete the conditional order stage. If you do need to attend court, we will go with and represent you to the judge.  You can be assured that we have considerable experience of this process and know what the judge will be looking for to grant the order.
  3. You must work out with your spouse arrangements and maintenance for the children, and the division of money and property. If there is any disagreement on any of these matters, we can help to negotiate a resolution in a non-confrontational manner.  Once an agreement is made on your money and property, we will help you to make an application to the court to make this legally binding.
  4. Six weeks after the conditional order is granted, you can then apply for the ‘final order’ – the document that confirms your civil partnership has formally ended. If the judge is happy that all the criteria have been met, including the timescales, then you and your civil partner will be granted the final order.

What is a separation order for a civil partnership?

In certain circumstances, civil partners may not wish to apply for dissolution of the civil partnership and instead may apply for a separation order.  A separation order is similar to a judicial separation.

To gain a separation order, the applicant must establish desertion, unreasonable behaviour, separation of more than two years, or separation of more than five years, but they do not have to prove the civil partnership has ‘irretrievably broken down’.

There is no doubt that for most couples, the process of dissolving a civil partnership is upsetting, stressful, and uncertain.  RVS Solicitors will support you each step of the way, doing what is best for you and your family.  We will keep you informed as matters progress, removing uncertainty, giving you confidence, and helping you to move forward to a positive future.

To find out more about how we can advise and represent you regarding a civil partnership dissolution, please contact our London office on 020 3372 5125 or complete our online form to make an appointment.


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