How to end a Civil Partnership: A Family Solicitor’s Advice

Civil partnership dissolution is the legal way to bring an end to a civil partnership. Although the process is similar to divorce, there are some key differences you should know.

In his latest article, Family Partner Andy Stynes outlines the grounds for civil partnership dissolution, the costs involved, how assets are divided and more.

How do you legally end a civil partnership?

Just like a divorce, you can apply to legally bring an end to your civil partnership through a dissolution if you’ve been in the partnership for at least one year. This can be done through an application to court.

If you haven’t been in the partnership for a year yet you wish to still separate, you can get a legal separation from your partner.

This can also be an option if you want a short-term solution, rather than a permanent one, or if you oppose divorce/dissolution on religious grounds.
This article will primarily focus on civil partnership dissolution, rather than legal separation.

Does no-fault divorce apply to civil partnership?

No-fault divorce is a divorce which doesn’t require either party to give evidence of the other party’s wrongdoing – essentially a divorce without blame.
No-fault divorce was introduced in April 2022, and the same rules apply to civil partnership dissolution.

Prior to its introduction, getting a dissolution was trickier as it required one party to provide evidence of conduct or separation facts against the other. The new process is much simpler.

What are the grounds for dissolving a civil partnership?

Although you no longer need to blame one another, dissolution still requires one party, or both, to provide a statement that the civil partnership has ‘irretrievably broken down’.

This statement is provided as part of the application process and means that, in your or your partner’s eyes, the civil partnership has ended and is irreparable.

When applying for a dissolution, you do not need to explain why the partnership has broken down and don’t need your partner’s consent to apply.

Can a civil partnership dissolution be contested?

Since the changes in April 2022, a civil partnership dissolution can no longer be contested by either partner.

A key reason for this is to prevent domestic abusers from exercising control over their victim.

Following these changes, the dissolution can only be disputed on Jurisdictional grounds, on the validity of the civil partnership or fraud and/or procedural compliance.

In the full article, Andy outlines the costs involved in dissolution, how assets are divided and more. Click here to read it.

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